§ Mr. Atkinson
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on United Kingdom help for the Soviet Union, including individual republics, through the know-how fund and the Council of Europe Demosthenes programme.
§ Mrs. Chalker
On 18 July my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister announced that in addition to the £10 million available in 1991–92, the know-how fund for the Soviet Union will be increased from £10 million to £20 million in 1992–93 and a further £20 million will be made available in 1993–94. The objective of the fund is to support the transfer of British skills and expertise essential to making the change to a market economy in four key sectors: food distribution, small business creation, energy and financial services. Projects in individual republics are eligible for support.
The United Kingdom is one of 25 members of the Council of Europe, whose Demosthenes programme enables the countries of eastern and central Europe to take advantage of the Council's work and expertise in the rule of law, human rights and a pluralist democracy. The Soviet Union has "special guest status" in the Council's Parliamentary Assembly and can benefit from this programme.