Reinfeldt: Ukraine aid package linked to reforms

5:06 min

As EU leaders meet to discuss sending money to Ukraine, Prime Minister Reinfeldt says conditions will be placed on how the money is used.

"This is a country with an empty treasury and with an economy that has been missmanaged for many years," says Reinfeldt to Swedish Television.

The money from the EU is expected to last Ukraine until 2020, and the prime minister says much will go to individual projects that "must be of the right quality." Reforms will also be demanded, including scrapping expensive state subsidies on gas.

The EU leaders will have a hard time agreeing on whether to bring in sanctions against Russia. Reinfeldt says the Russian incursion is "a crime against international" and the troops in Ukraine must be withdrawn. "It can be necessary to bring in targeted sanctions," he says to SVT.

The regional Crimean parliament has voted to join Russia, and announced a local referendum on the issue for the 16th of March.

Sweden's foreign minister Carl Bildt is in eastern Ukraine, together with Danish foreign minister Martin Lidegaard.

The Donbass area of eastern Ukraine is the heartland of support for ousted president Yanukovych, who Russia says is still the legitimate leader of Ukraine.

On Wednesday UN envoy Robert Serry was threatened by armed men and forced to leave the Crimea. The deputy secretary general of the United Nations is Jan Eliason, former Swedish foreign minister. He says to Swedish Radio News the threats against Serry are unacceptable.