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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Norway To Help After Chernobyl Closure

KIEV, Ukraine - Norway will provide humanitarian aid to help Ukraine cope after it closes the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, site of world's worst nuclear accident, Norwegian Foreign Minister Thorbjoern Jagland said Wednesday.

Jagland said that Norway have already provided 70 million Norwegian kroner (about $8.6 million) to help finance Chernobyl's closure.

The plant's No. 4 reactor exploded and caught fire in April 26, 1986, sending a radioactive cloud over much of Europe. Another reactor was shut down after a fire in 1991, and a third was halted in 1996.

The Ukrainian government yielded to strong international pressure and agreed to shut the plant for good Dec. 15. But the energy-strapped nation has appealed for aid to compensate for losses in electricity and jobs.

Jagland and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Anatoliy Zlenko also discussed a broad range of other issues, including cooperation in the oil and gas sector, more active involvement by Norwegian companies in the Ukrainian economy, and Ukraine's efforts to become a member of the World Trade Organization.

The volume of bilateral trade dropped from $69.7 million in 1998 to $51 million in 1999, and was $39.2 million in the first nine months of this year, according to the State Statistics Committee.

Ukraine exports chemical, metallurgical and wood products to Norway, and imports Norwegian fish and transport equipment.