Development measures in Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries after the Vilnius summit and the situation in Ukraine were top of the agenda during the consultations that Undersecretary of State Katarzyna Pełczyńska-Nałęcz held at Sweden’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs and in the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).
On 14 February 2014, Deputy Minister Katarzyna Pełczyńska-Nałęcz met in Stockholm with Frank Belfrage, the State Secretary at the Swedish MFA, and Tanja Rasmusson, the State Secretary for Development at the Swedish MFA. The Polish deputy foreign minister also visited the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, where she was received by Elsa Hastad, the Assistant to the SIDE Director General.
During the talks the officials emphasized that development policies of both Poland and Sweden focus on aid measures that contribute to transformation and democratization processes, and help ensure the observance of human rights. Deputy Minister Pełczyńska-Nałęcz recalled that Poland has extensive experience in these fields, a knowledge it shares with EaP countries. Both sides expressed their interest in enhancing cooperation on assistance projects addressed to EaP countries. The deputy ministers also discussed current developments in Ukraine.
“Today’s meetings have shown that we speak with one voice on Ukraine. We will advocate an EU offer for Ukraine that takes into account the aspirations of Ukrainian people,” underscored the Polish deputy minister.
The deputy chief of Poland’s diplomacy thanked the Swedish side for supporting the European Endowment for Democracy (set up in 2013) and TV Belsat. The Swedish diplomats confirmed their readiness to maintain the involvement in development aid for EaP countries, a declaration that will be manifested in Sweden’s new regional strategy for East European countries.