EU to Grant Ukraine More Aid than Expected

Written by | Friday, March 7th, 2014

Jose Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, announced on Wednesday (March 6) that the European Union would provide Ukraine with financial aid of at least 11 billion euros over the next few years. The aid will be freed up from the EU budget and EU based financial institutions. The money should cover the expenditure connected to both political and economic reforms and include both immediate short and medium term measures as well as economic, financial, and technical assistance to the country.
More specifically, the EU will disburse 1.6 billion euros in loans to cover macroeconomic recovery, 1 billion euros in grants, out of which 600 million will be spent in the next two years. Moreover, the European Investment Bank will provide extra 3 billion euros for 2014 – 2016 and another 250 million euros are to be leveraged from loans from bankable investment projects to obtain 3 billion euros. Moreover, the London-based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is expected to provide 5 billion euros by the end of 2020. As a result, the aid package that Europe is offering now is far bigger than what Ukraine should have obtained under the EU-Ukraine association agreement.
The details of the EU’s financial assistance will be discussed today (March 6) with Ukraine’s interim Prime Minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who is attending an emergency meeting of the EU28 leaders called to produce a unified policy on the Ukraine crisis.
Mr Barosso said that the EU’s instantaneous priority was to push for a peaceful solution to the crisis which “must include a withdrawal of Russian armed forces from Crimea to the areas of their permanent stationing”. He also embraced the direct discussions between Kiev and Moscow and expressed his wish that both sides would agree on the deployment of international observers in Crimea. In his opinion, the international community should mobilise in the meantime in order to help Ukraine calm down economic and financial situation. Stabilization of the economy is believed to contribute to the enhancement of the country’s political and social conditions.

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