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First Steps

On 29 March 2022, the city of Mykolaiv woke up to the sound of a powerful explosion. On the same day, the Mykolaiv-Denmark Partnership was initiated.
Building equipment donated by Denmark on Mykolaiv central square

On 29 March 2022, a Russian missile hit the regional administration building, located in Mykolaiv central square, killing 37 civil servants, as they were about to gather for their daily morning meeting. 

Later that day, President Zelenskyy addressed the Danish Parliament online. In his speech, he asked the Danes to assume a special patronage in assisting Mykolaiv, “the city of shipbuilders”. The rationale behind deciding to support Mykolaiv is linked to Denmark’s pre-conflict cooperation with a number of Mykolaiv-based shipbuilding companies. 

On 21 April 2022, the Prime Minister of Denmark, Mette Frederiksen, made her first trip to Ukraine. She confirmed that Denmark was fully committed to help Mykolaiv.

Photo: President Zelensky addressing the Danish parliament on March 29th, 2022                        Photo credit: President’s Office 

Fast-forwarding eight months, Russian bombardment had taken a heavy toll on both the people and social infrastructure of the city and the region. The impact was enormous: hospitals, schools, bridges, as well gas, electricity and water supply systems were in ruins. Therefore, winterization became the first step in the Mykolaiv-Denmark cooperation, which included supplying the city with plywood to cover broken windows, installing water treatment stations, boiler houses and generators, and rebuilding some residential areas.

The next step would be to ensure the revival of Mykolaiv business community, so that companies could become operational again, and thereby generate taxes and ensure jobs for the population. Such was the clear message expressed by the local business community during the round table with Minister for Development Cooperation and Global Climate Policy, Dan Jørgensen, who paid a visit to Mykolaiv on 13 January 2023.

On 30 January 2023, a Danish senior leadership delegation, including Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, Minister for Foreign Affairs Lars Løkke Rasmussen, and then Minister for Defence Jakob Ellemann-Jensen visited Mykolaiv. President Zelenskyy welcomed them. The visit resulted in enhanced cooperation prospects and extensive media coverage. 

Photo, left to right: Minister for Foreign Affairs Lars Løkke Rasmussen, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, Minister for Defence Jakob Ellemann-Jensen, Mykolaiv, January 30th, 2023

On 15 March 2023, The Danish Government and a broad majority of the Danish Parliament agreed to establish the Ukraine Fund for 2023 of approximately EUR 935 million (DKK 7 billion). Within civil and business support, special attention and efforts are directed at the reconstruction and business initiatives of Mykolaiv city and region under the Mykolaiv-Denmark Partnership.

On 31 March 2023, Danish and Ukrainian stakeholders participated at the first Steering Committee Meeting on Mykolaiv-Denmark Partnership and signed the Memorandum of Understanding. It outlined the strategic framework focusing on 4 major areas, such as energy, water, social infrastructure and agriculture. This included medical equipment, firefighting equipment, water towers, and vehicles for reconstruction, city and school buses, trolleybuses, as well as reconstruction projects.

On 3 July 2023, the second Steering Committee Meeting took place. Further aid was allocated to support Mykolaiv-Denmark Partnership in various areas.

Mykolaiv-Denmark Partnership continues to evolve, ensuring flexible and sustainable solutions.

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