The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Government of Norway have joined forces to assist Ukraine’s state-owned gas company, Naftogaz (NAK), so it can supply energy to Ukrainian customers during the winter and beyond.
Norway, a founding member of the EBRD and robust donor partner, has agreed to provide a NOK 2 billion (€195 million equivalent) grant to top up a €300 million EBRD loan to NAK.
The contribution will help NAK acquire gas for two annual gas purchase and supply cycles. This will secure heating in households, schools and offices, produce electricity and keep the economy running.
Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt said: “Helping Ukraine through the winter by supplying gas is of critical importance. Russia uses energy as a weapon in this senseless war with grave humanitarian and economic consequences. We commend EBRD for their important role in supporting Ukraine through this difficult period. We are confident that EBRD is the best partner to ensure efficient, secure, and transparent facilitation of gas supplies to Ukraine.”
EBRD First Vice-President Jürgen Rigterink said: “We are extremely grateful to Norway for this strong backing of our emergency operations in Ukraine. Providing such assistance in the form a grant will also contribute to easing immediate financial obligations for Ukraine. The agreement reinforces our partnership in the shared goal of securing support for Ukraine’s economy and people as a matter of priority.”
To address Ukraine’s most pressing economic needs, the EBRD is prioritising trade finance, energy security, vital infrastructure, food security and providing liquidity to the pharmaceutical industry. Investments in all areas involve donor support from partners such as Norway, the United States of America, the European Union, Germany, the United Kingdom and Canada.
The EBRD was swift to condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February and pledged to stand by Ukraine. In early April, the EBRD’s Board of Governors suspended open endedly the access of the Russian Federation and Belarus to EBRD finance and expertise and the Bank has closed its offices in Russia and Belarus.