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Thursday, 15 November, 2018
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Wed, 25 Jan, 2017 01:36:42 AM
Finland, Ukraine sign MoU on cooperation in energy sector
FTimes-FNN Report, Jan 25

President Sauli Niinistö on Tuesday reiterated strong support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine and emphasized to immediate implementation of the Minsk agreement.

"Finland supports the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine. Therefore, we condemn the illegal connection of the Crimea with Russia ", Niinistö said after a meeting with his visiting Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenkon in Helsinki.

Speaking at a joint press conference Niinistö emphasized that the implementation of the Minsk agreement must be rushed.

"Minsk agreement is vital. It should be implemented as soon as possible, so that we could live a normal life in Ukraine and all of Europe. Both parties have obligations to which they should fulfill. Finland supports implementation and is ready to make every effort to achieve the objectives of the Minsk agreement, " Niinistö said.

Both the Presidents were of the view that sanctions should not be removed until the conditions set for them are met.

"I want to thank the Finnish firm's position to maintain the sanctions against Russia, Minsk until the agreement is fully implemented," said Poroshenko said.

Niinistö mentioned the Ukrainian committed a lot of, inter alia, the social, political and economic reforms.

"It is a very good, and we will support Ukraine's development forward on this path. Finland has supported the Ukrainian visa-free travel within the EU and, of course, we will support it in the future, " Niinistö said.

Meanwhile, Finland and Ukraine signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in the energy sector during Ukrainian President visit.

The MoU between the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and the State Agency on Energy Efficiency and Energy Saving of Ukraine was signed by Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Kai Mykkänen from Finland and by Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Utilities Hennadii Zubko from Ukraine.

Energy efficiency is one of the main challenges that Ukraine needs to address. Ukraine uses about 18 billion cubic meters of gas a year for heating residential buildings, seven billion of which is lost in the air because of old buildings’ poor heating systems and two billion disappears through leakages in decrepit gas pipes. Ukraine aims to improve the efficiency of its power plants and develop the heating and electricity distribution network. Solutions are also sought for more environmentally friendly waste disposal systems and for energy recovery from waste.

Finland can offer solutions to these challenges. The newly signed energy MoU will facilitate Finnish companies’ access to Ukraine’s markets. Finnish companies have actively contributed to efforts aiming at closer cooperation. The priorities of the energy cooperation between Finland and Ukraine are energy efficiency, renewable energy, and alternative energy sources in heat and power production, traffic and industrial solutions.  The cooperation also includes exchange of information, projects conducted in partnership, and charting of funding opportunities.

President Poroshenko also met Maria Lohela, the Speaker of the Finnish Parliament, and Prime Minister Juha Sipilä during his visit.

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