Ukraine remains a priority country for Estonian development cooperation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Director General of the External Economic and Development Cooperation Jüri Seilenthal said at consultations held in Kiev.
"Estonia continues to firmly support the democratic development of Ukraine on a political level and through development cooperation," the Estonian official said at a meeting in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.
According to Seilenthal, Estonia can contribute to Ukraine's development by sharing its experiences, especially in the ICT field. "Implementing e-governance and e-solutions in public administration will certainly contribute to a stronger democratic structure of the state as well as increase transparency," he emphasized.
He also stressed the seriousnes of the humanitarian situation in Eastern Ukraine. "Unfortunately, the humanitarian situation has not improved and thus Estonia will continue to support the international humanitarian organizations working on both sides of the line of contact," he said.
In 2017, the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is planning on supporting Ukraine with €2.2 million, accounting for almost 20 percent of the entire budget for development cooperation and humanitarian aid. The ministry will also support the activities of the Estonian Center of Eastern Partnership in all partnership countries, including Ukraine.
Consultations on development cooperation and humanitarian aid between Estonia and Ukraine were held from April 18-21. The consultations aimed to reinforce good relations with local partners, help coordinate aid as well as to create new opportunities for further cooperation. The Estonian development cooperation and humanitarian aid projects were introduced at the Estonian Embassy in Kiev on April 19.
On their visit to Ukraine, the Estonian delegation also met with the EU delegation in Kiev, ECHO Ukraine, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency SIDA, the DEpartment of Economic Cooperation and the Directorate General for the European Union of the Ministry of the Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, the European Union Advisory Mission (EUAM) Ukraine as well as the local humanitarian NGO Vostok SOS.
In addition, consultations were held with the U.S. Embassy and U.S. Agency for International Development USAID, representatives of the EU support program U-LEAD, heads of the State Agency for e-Governance in Ukraine and representatives of the international organizations UNHCR, UNFPA, UNICEF and UN OCHA.
Editor: Aili Vahtla