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One of my big tasks is to help you with the issues of your integration into the European Union, the Swedish diplomat said.
Sweden provides support for reforms in Ukraine on an annual basis in the amount of €25 million, Bekerat said, adding Sweden would continue supporting Ukraine.
Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom also paid a visit to Kiev earlier. She said Sweden would continue rendering assistance to Ukraine but would demand deep reformation of the Ukrainian economy.
The European Commission announced on Thursday it would allocate €55 million to Ukraine to implement decentralization and regional policy reform.
The financing agreement to launch a new program entitled: “Support to Ukraine’s Regional Policy” was signed by Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn and Ukraine’s acting Economic Development and Trade Minister Valery Pyatnitsky.
The EU funds are intended to support the implementation of Ukraine’s state regional development strategy 2020, which was approved by the Ukrainian government on August 6 this year, the European Commission said in a statement.
“As a former Commissioner for EU Regional Policy, I know how crucial this area is to the competitiveness and prosperity of any country. With this agreement, the EU commits to support Ukraine's decentralization and regional policy reforms,” Hahn said.
“The EU funds will support all three objectives of the Ukrainian state regional development strategy 2020, namely competitiveness of regions; territorial socio-economic cohesion and effective state governance of regional development," he said.
Financial aid will result in improved regional policy legislation, the provision of stable and predictable financing for regions and municipalities, a strengthened financial autonomy of local authorities, higher competitiveness of regions and improved territorial socio-economic cohesion, the European commission said.
The funds will be paid in four tranches to the Ukrainian state budget in 2015-2018.