The Minister of Finance of Norway Trygve Slagsvoll Vedum signed today an agreement to provide Ukraine with funding of $ 195.2 billion for the purchase of natural gas next winter, the website of the Norwegian government reports, according to Interfax Ukraine.
It is noted that the financing will be channelled through the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). On behalf of the bank, the agreement was signed on Monday in Oslo by its First Vice President Jurgen Rigterink.
"Ukraine has asked Norway for support in procuring natural gas this winter. Time is crucial, and we are very pleased that the EBRD will be our partner in gas procurement. It is important to channel the support through a reputable, internationally recognised organization that will ensure that the funding is used efficiently and transparently," said Trygve Slagsvold Vedum.
According to the report, the formal recipient of gas in Ukraine will be the Naftogaz of Ukraine. The actual payments will be made directly to European gas suppliers who have received preliminary approval and will be billing for the amounts they deliver.
"As winter approaches in Ukraine, Russia is using energy as a weapon and attacking critical infrastructure in an attempt to break Ukraine's resistance. Russia's actions are serious violations of international law and cause severe suffering to the people of Ukraine. Norway's support in securing energy supplies is therefore vital for Ukraine," said Norwegian Foreign Minister Anniken Geithfeldt.