If the new Country Partnership Strategy between Ukraine and the World Bank for 2012-2015 is implemented, Kyiv can expect the previous amount of support - about USD 500-600 million per year, World Bank Country Director for Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova Martin Raiser said in an interview with UKRINFORM in the United States.

He noted that demand for loans from the World Bank in the current unstable economic situation in the world remained high and that in some cases it exceeded the bank's ability to provide support. At the same time, such a situation is unlikely to have a negative effect on projects that the World Bank helps implement in Ukraine, Raiser said.

"We now have about USD 500 million per year in our portfolio for the implementation of projects [in Ukraine]. I do not exclude that we can get out of the current financial framework and provide more, but this will largely depend on progress in economic reforms and progress in the implementation of the existing projects," Raiser added.

He described the Country Partnership Strategy between the World Bank and Ukraine for 2007-2011 as "quite successful." But since this period saw an economic crisis in which it was necessary to pay greater attention to the improvement of the financial sector, as well as the unstable political situation in Ukraine due to frequent changes in government, not all of the results planned earlier have been achieved, Raiser said.

Therefore, in his opinion, "the main directions of the new strategy (for 2012-2015) will not be very different from previous ones." At the same time, the main attention will be paid to work with public opinion, he said.

When asked to comment in more detail on one of the areas of cooperation between the World Bank and Ukraine, which concerns the modernization of the Ukrainian gas transport system, Raiser recalled that it was based on the so-called Brussels Declaration of 2009 - a joint declaration by Ukraine, the EU, the European Investment Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the World Bank.

"Then it was clearly stated that if Ukraine is ready to reform the gas sector in order to make it more transparent and more financially solvent, then the international financial institutions will be ready to help modernize the gas transport system," he said.

He said that he had seen "certain progress" in Ukraine's readiness to modernize its gas transport system. "But I would not currently call this progress sufficient to say today that we are ready to take decisions in a month or two," he said.

"I think that not only Ukraine, but also Europe and Russia benefit from this... The central idea does not include or exclude any form of cooperation between the three parties - it can be as part of a consortium or it can be as part of the restructuring of Naftogaz of Ukraine as a public company," he said.

"Therefore, we are open for discussion with our partners," Raiser added.

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