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Ville Tavio, Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade of Finland

An international exhibition and conference on the reconstruction of Ukraine called “ReBuild Ukraine Powered by Energy” will be held in Warsaw on November 14-15. Delegations from more than 20 countries will attend the event, and Finland’s representation will be among the most massive ones.

On the eve of the conference, an Ukrinform correspondent asked several questions to Finland’s Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Tavio, who will personally lead the Finnish business delegation at the Ukraine conference in Warsaw.

UKRAINE CAN RELY ON FINLAND’S SUPPORT IN THE FUTURE TO MANAGE THE IMMENSE CONSEQUENCES OF RUSSIAN AGGRESSION

– A large Finnish delegation is coming to the ReBuild Ukraine Exhibition and Conference. What do you want to present on it, what results will you achieve?

– Finnish companies have the expertise needed to contribute to the reconstruction of Ukraine. We can participate, for example, in energy efficient and sustainable construction, the energy sector, clean transition, water and waste management, telecommunication, education and rule-of-law. I believe these are fields which correspond to the current needs in Ukraine very well.

The reconstruction exhibition in Warsaw is an excellent opportunity for the over 40 Finnish companies to discuss with Ukrainian partners and learn more about ways to participate in the immense efforts.

– In July you ordered to develop a plan for Finland’s participation in the reconstruction of Ukraine. What are the details of this plan, what will Helsinki focus on?

– Ukraine can rely on our support in the future to manage the immense consequences of Russian aggression. Finland is getting ready to participate in the reconstruction process and is preparing a national reconstruction plan in cooperation with the private sector.

The first part of the plan will be published by the end of this year. It will focus on ways the Finnish private sector is able to participate in the reconstruction of Ukraine. The second part will be drafted soon after. It will look at Finnish support to Ukraine more broadly, including development cooperation.

– It’s expected that in winter Russia will again bomb critical infrastructure facilities of Ukraine for Ukrainians to live in the cold and darkness. Does Helsinki plan to help Ukraine in ensuring the operation of critical infrastructure facilities, in particular energy infrastructure, during this extraordinary period?

– Finland strongly condemns Russia’s missile attacks against civilian targets, including Ukraine’s energy infrastructure. Deliberate bombing of civilian targets is a war crime. We urge Russia to end its campaign of destruction.

Finland is one of the biggest EU donors of energy sector materiel, such as generators and transformers, to Ukraine. Also many Finnish companies in the energy sector travelled to Warsaw as they are interested in participating in the long term development of the energy infrastructure in Ukraine.

Finland has provided Ukraine with more than 280 truckloads of in-kind assistance through the EU Civil protection Mechanism. Energy sector supplies are one of the largest categories of assistance provided, and currently there are several energy sector assistance packages at different stages of the process.

UKRAINE IS FINLAND’S LARGEST PARTNER IN DEVELOPMENT COOPERATION

– How does Finland feel about the idea of transferring frozen assets of Russia and Russian close to the Kremlin oligarchs for the restoration of Ukraine?

– We take a favourable view of the seizure of frozen Russian assets and the repurposing of revenue from those assets to support Ukraine. A legal solution for repurposing frozen assets must be found together with partner countries.

– How much has Finland already allocated to help Ukraine and how much does it plan to allocate in the near future?

– Finland’s overall support to Ukraine since the beginning of Russia’s full scale aggression is 2,1 billion euros, of which 1,4 billion is for defense. Ukraine is Finland’s largest partner in development cooperation. We are strongly committed to continue our support for Ukraine for as long as needed.

– Does Helsinki support the fast track of Ukraine’s integration to the EU?

– Finland supports Ukraine’s European path and we are prepared to support Ukraine in the reforms required in your EU integration path. We are impressed with Ukraine’s efforts so far, considering the very difficult circumstances. Finland is currently looking into the European Commission’s Enlargement Package, including Ukraine’s country report.

I would like to highlight that the reconstruction efforts in Ukraine should go hand in hand with the reforms needed in the country’s EU path.

Source : Ukrinform

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