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Sweden is a major donor of Ukrainian reforms: audit of bilateral relations with Ukraine

13 June 2017

On June 12, the Institute of World Policy presented the “Foreign Policy Audit: Ukraine - Sweden”, its sequent research from the series on bilateral relations of Ukraine with partners. The research was published within the framework of Think Tank Development Initiative implemented by the International Renaissance Foundation (IRF) in partnership with the Think Tank Fund (TTF) with the financial support of the Embassy of Sweden in Ukraine.

“International Renaissance Foundation has been directing its efforts at the support of projects that promote public policy development in Ukraine. Think tank activities, quality research, in particular, are the basis for high quality policymaking. IRF greatly appreciates partnership with the Embassy of Sweden in Ukraine in the area of think tank development which helps to entrench the public policy process in the country”, IRF Deputy Executive Director Taras Kachka said.

The research discussed long-standing partnership between Sweden and Ukraine. Ukraine is the absolute leader in terms of aid provided by Sweden not only among Eastern Partnership Countries, but also in comparison with Western Balkans and Turkey. Sweden continues supporting Ukraine despite political changes and fallbacks of reforms. Today, Sweden expects to see more sustainable results of its support, in particular in the area of anticorruption, public administration and economic reforms, as well as democratic institutions development.

“Fighting against corruption is the main incentive for further support of Ukraine provided by Sweden. Effective and sustainable system for preventing and combating corruption with strong, independent and resilient to political changes institutions is an indicator of reforms in Ukraine. In addition, it is a prerequisite for the increase of Swedish investments that have been declining steadily since 2010”, Analyst of the Institute of World Policy Leonid Litra stated.

Analyst of the Institute of World Policy Daria Haidai mentioned the case with IKEA when the company faced shocking corruption at the local level in Ukraine. “Swedish companies that value their reputation are very leery to invest in a country that is regularly mentioned in connection with corruption and political scandals. To this point, Ukrainian Government has not been able to break the tendency and make Ukraine more attractive for Swedish investors who have already got disappointed in possibilities to run a transparent and fair business in Ukraine”, Daria Haidai underlined.

The major Swedish political powers are unilateral concerning the support of Ukraine. According to Mr. Litra, one of the reasons of such unanimity is the fact that all parties, even populists, appeal to such values as human rights. The research underlines that Stockholm closely monitors the situation in Ukraine, especially, the situation of such vulnerable groups as people with special needs, victims of discrimination, LGBT community representatives and ethnic minorities.

The participants of the discussion around the research included Swedish Ambassador to Ukraine Martin Hagstrom, Director of the First European Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Vasyl Khymynets, Director of the Ukrainian Institute in Sweden Natalia Pasichnyck, IRF Deputy Executive Director Taras Kachka, representatives of the expert community and mass media.

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