Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine has cast a long shadow over the region, and the international community has become deeply involved in supporting Ukraine’s reconstruction and democratic development. Since Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022, Sweden’s total support to Ukraine amounts to around SEK 25 billion SEK.
SI has participated in developing the new aid strategy and, by participating in its implementation, will contribute to shaping a stronger and more resilient Ukraine on the way to democratic development and EU membership.
Madeleine Sjöstedt, director general of the Swedish Institute, believes that the strategy will be an important instrument in not only restoring but further developing and modernizing Ukraine:
– The strategy is based on areas where Sweden is at the forefront. Strengthened conditions for business and entrepreneurship as well as principles for rule of law and anti-corruption are fundamental building blocks for Ukraine’s future and we look forward to contributing to that work.
Within the strategy for Sweden’s development and reform cooperation with Ukraine, there are a total of five support areas:
- Construction, with a focus on socially important infrastructure, basic community services and rehabilitation
- Green transition and sustainable development
- Inclusive economic development, entrepreneurship and trade
- Security and stabilization
- Human rights, democracy, principles of the rule of law and equality
Implementing public agencies are the The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), Folke Bernadotte Academy (FBA) and SI. SI’s activities will contribute in the areas of Inclusive economic development, entrepreneurship and trade and Human rights, democracy, the principles of the rule of law and equality. Through SI’s efforts, the conditions for Ukraine’s approach to the EU will be improved.
SI has long supported cooperation with Ukraine and finances exchanges and collaborations for both individuals and organizations. An extensive network of partners, both in Sweden, Ukraine and in the rest of the Baltic Sea region, has been a prerequisite for being able to operate in the country effectively even after the invasion, and the authority’s support to Ukraine was doubled in 2022 compared to 2021.
Intensive internal work is currently underway to design SI’s efforts and ensure that they are based on Ukraine’s needs for international support. Åsa Lundmark is head of unit at SI and is responsible for the operationalization of the strategy within SI’s operations:
– We see a great commitment and willingness to contribute to Ukraine’s development among Swedish actors, in academia, cultural life and business life. The forms of support that we are now developing must be effective and appropriate for the needs that exist in Ukraine.
The strategy is a long-term investment and will strengthen Ukraine’s resilience, democratic development and the reconstruction of the country. It is an important effort to support Ukraine on its path towards a democratic future and EU membership. SI aims to start implementation at the turn of the year 2023–2024.