The Ukraine/EBRD Joint Committee overseeing Chernobyl Shelter Fund (CSF) and EBRD-administered Nuclear Safety Account projects held a meeting today co-chaired by Prime Minister Yuri Yekhanurov and EBRD Vice President Fabrizio Saccomanni. Hans Blix, the Chairman of the CSF Donor Assembly, participated as a guest, the EBRD press release reads.

The committee discussed issues such as VAT reimbursement procedures, Ukraine’s contribution to the CSF and necessary provisions in Ukraine’s state budget to support the project. Constructive approaches for all issues were agreed.

Both sides had agreed to reestablish the Joint Committee as a top level coordination group at a moment where the Shelter Implementation Plan reaches a crucial point. The awarding of the contract for the construction of a New Safe Confinement, the single most important project, is expected within the next few months.

The Joint Committee as well as a working group for the day-to-day cooperation between the EBRD and Ukrainian authorities reporting to the JC (co-chaired by Minister Viktor Baloga and EBRD’s Nuclear Safety Account Director Vince Novak) will serve as a platform to identify and resolve all issues with the potential to delay the project and cause cost increases.

EBRD Vice President Saccomanni underlined: “The international community, which has provided more than ?650 million to date and pledged another ?150 million last May, is committed to the project and needs the assurance that the project is managed in the most efficient and effective way possible so that cost risks can be minimized.”

Ukraine Prime Minister Yekhanurov stated that the upcoming 20th anniversary of the Chernobyl accident would provide an opportunity to demonstrate the progress which has been made thanks to the close cooperation of the donor countries, Ukraine and the EBRD. He invited the Bank to the next meeting of the Joint Committee to be held in early April.

Also today CSF Chairman Blix, accompanied by an EBRD delegation led by Vice President Saccomanni, met with Ukraine’s President Viktor Yushchenko. Mr Blix stressed that donors were committed to support Ukraine in the mitigation of the consequences of the Chernobyl accident and that they relied on Ukraine and its President to provide leadership and an efficient management to complete the project successfully.

President Yushchenko assured Mr Blix that Ukraine was fully committed to work with donors and the EBRD to complete the project in an effective way.


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