21 Nov 2022 16:12

Norway to provide almost $200 mln to assist Ukraine with gas procurement

MOSCOW. Nov 21 (Interfax) - Norwegian Finance Minister Trygve Slagsvold Vedum on Monday signed agreement on providing 2 billion Norwegian crowns, or $195.2 million under the current exchange rate, to help Ukraine procure natural gas for the coming winter.

The financing will be disbursed through the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Ukrainian media said, citing the Norwegian government's website. EBRD First Vice President Jurgen Rigterink signed the agreement on behalf of the bank in Oslo on Monday.

"Ukraine has specifically asked Norway for support for the procurement of natural gas this winter. The timing is critical, and we are very pleased that the EBRD is to be our partner in carrying out gas purchases. It is important to channel the support through an established, internationally recognized organization, which will ensure effective and transparent use of the funding," the Norwegian minister said.

The Ukrainian state-owned company Naftogaz will be the formal recipient of the gas in Ukraine, according to the report. In practice, payments will be made directly to European gas suppliers that have received prior approval and will invoice for the volume of gas they deliver.

"Norwegian support to secure energy supplies is therefore vitally important for Ukraine," Norway's Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt said.

As reported, Norwegian Prime Minister Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store announced in July that the government would allocate 10 billion Norwegian crowns to Ukraine in 2022 and 2023. Of this, 2 billion Norwegian crowns has been earmarked for gas procurement.