Ole T. Horpestad
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Norway to Ukraine
Abstract. The article describes the cooperation between Norway and Ukraine, particularly the activities of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Norway to Ukraine. It is mentioned that Norway established diplomatic relations with Ukraine on 5 February 1992, and in December 1992, the Embassy of Norway to Ukraine started its operation.
Mention is made that Norway remains one of the consistent advocates of the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of Ukraine. Norway has condemned the Russian aggression in the east of Ukraine, the occupation and annexation of the Crimean peninsula, which violated international legal norms. For the purposes of monitoring the course of the conflict via the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission, 15 Norwegians are involved, most of them engaged into operational activities near the contact line. Ukraine and Norway have forged close political contacts. Thus, the Prime Minister of Norway visited Kyiv in 2014, and the President of Ukraine reciprocated by visiting Oslo in October 2016.
The article also considers an extensive aid package for Ukraine amounting to almost €20 million annually, a quarter of which has been allocated for humanitarian projects in the east of Ukraine, while the other 15 million have been spent for projects in the following realms: energy efficiency, rule of law, proper public management as well as the accomplishment of European integration and implementation of European standards. Besides, health protection will soon be added to this list.
It is stated the volume of Norwegian export is experiencing a period of growth. Norwegian seafood and fish are in high demand among Ukrainians. Another equally important sphere of cooperation is culture.
Mr Ambassador mentions that he has been in Ukraine for three years and has fallen deeply in love with it, not only because of beautiful landscapes but friendly, hospitable, smiling, and forward-looking people. Individualism is the feature that unites Norwegians and Ukrainians. The Ambassador expresses the hope to organise direct flights from Kyiv to Oslo to give impetus to tourism and streamline networking. His Excellency also dreams of the fulfillment of Ukraine’s aspirations and wishes that it took a rightful place among European nations, a fond wish of Ukrainians.
Key words: Norway, cooperation, support package, exports, culture, diplomat’s experience.