Norway to assist Ukraine with gas procurement

Copenhagen, Nov 22 : Under an agreement signed, Norway will provide 2 billion Norwegian kroner ($195.4 million) to fund Ukraine to purchase natural gas this winter, the Norwegian government said in a press release. Norway's Finance Minister Trygve Slagsvold Vedum and Juergen Rigterink, first vice president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), signed the agreement on Monday to channel the funds through the bank and then to Ukraine, Xinhua news agency reported. According to the press release, the funds are expected to be used to make direct payments to European gas suppliers that have received prior approval and will invoice for the volume of gas delivered. In Ukraine, the state-owned company Naftogaz will be the formal recipient. "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," Vedum was quoted in the press release as saying. Norway's Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store said in July that his government would allocate 10 billion Norwegian kroner (NOK) to Ukraine in 2022 and 2023. Of this sum, two billion NOK have been earmarked for gas procurement. (1 Norwegian krone $0.098) /IANS


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