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High-level representatives of the Lithuanian and Polish central banks, the EU Delegation to Ukraine and the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) met online to mark the launch of the EU-funded Twinning project to strengthen Ukraine’s central bank.

On 9 March 2021, Vitas Vasiliauskas, Chairman of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania, Marta Gajęcka, Board Member of Narodowy Bank Polski, Dmytro Sologub, Deputy Governor of the NBU, Chloe Allio, Head of Section of the EU Delegation to Ukraine, met online to officially kickstart the Twinning project and discuss the priorities and modalities of technical cooperation within the project framework. The high-level online meeting was attended by the NBU staff, officials from relevant sectoral ministries and agencies, representatives of business associations, diplomats, academics and journalists.

The EU earmarked €1 million from its budget to finance strengthening of the NBU’s capacity to implement certain provisions of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. Having started on 1 October 2020, the project will run until June 2022 and involves dozens of experts from the Bank of Lithuania and Narodowy Bank Polski, accompanied by professionals from five other EU national central banks.

The project focuses on four areas. First, new requirements will be introduced to meet international standards ensuring internal capital and liquidity adequacy in commercial banks. Supervisors will be able to better assess the current situation of the banking sector, while banks, by meeting new requirements, will help keep the entire financial system on a safe footing.

Second, the project is intended to help develop a payment system in Ukraine. Experts in this field will discuss and work out a model of instant payments and a way to safely introduce it in the near future. As a result, customers will benefit from a new and modern method of payments.

Third, the NBU is undergoing modernisation. The EU Twinning project will be a source of inspiration and advice on how to improve strategic planning at various levels within the bank.

Finally, external expertise will serve to strengthen the NBU in its international activities and cooperation.

“It is the very interest of both the EU and Ukraine to proceed with building a modern and transparent banking system in Ukraine, with the NBU being at the forefront of this progress. Therefore, the Bank of Lithuania, Narodowy Bank Polski and the NBU are taking concrete steps under the hood of the EU-funded Twinning project to share the best central banking practice and help all the central banks involved become more efficient and internationally active institutions, creating value added to the societies of their countries,” said Vitas Vasiliauskas, Chairman of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania.

Deputy Governor Dmytro Sologub said: “For Ukraine, European integration is a cornerstone on the road to pursuing national interests, building an economically developed and democratic state. EU integration is a long-term and an extremely ambitious project for Ukraine, but we as a central bank do our best for successful implementation of the EU‑Ukraine Association Agreement. No doubts, the Twinning project with our European partners will be an effective instrument for developing our institutional capacity, strengthening the banking system of Ukraine, and introducing innovative financial technologies. This is another important step we are taking towards the integration of the NBU into the European community of central banks”.

“Poland has always advocated close cooperation between Ukraine and EU institutions. From the angle of Polish foreign policy, Ukraine is a key partner within the Eastern Partnership initiative as well as the Polish Development Cooperation Programme”, underscored Marta Gajęcka, Member of the Board of the National Bank of Poland. “It is amazing to observe the results of our cooperation and to see how solidarity and engagement change reality. We observe with satisfaction the NBU’s development – what a modern, well-managed organisation it has become, appreciated in many fields and deservedly awarded for its tremendous efforts”.

Chloe Allio, Head of Section of the EU Delegation to Ukraine, stressed that “the National Bank’s policies have served the Ukrainian economy and Ukrainian people well, maintaining macroeconomic stability, restructuring the entire banking sector and guiding it through the COVID-19 crisis without significant losses. The NBU is already a strong, independent and technically competent institution. We are confident that this Twinning project, involving exchange of the most recent experience with peer central banks, will help to step up the alignment with EU practices in banking and payments, and will further advance the international standing of the NBU”.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all project activities are currently carried out remotely.