Belgium, (Brussels Morning Newspaper) The European Commission has proposed an emergency aid programme for Ukraine worth up to 1.2 billion euro. The proposal came after EC President Ursula von der Leyen discussed Ukraine’s request for aid with President Volodymyr Zelensky.
The proposed macro-financial assistance (MFA) programme would come in the form of loans on very favourable terms. The Commission said the programme should help Ukraine improve its macro-economic stability and resilience.
The EC noted that were the European Parliament to speedily approve the proposal, the Commission would be in a position to disburse 600 million euro immediately. It would then disburse the second tranche once it had assessed Ukraine’s implementation of short-term policies.
The Commission pointed out how the bloc has allocated more than 17 billion euro to Ukraine in the form of loans and grants since 2014. This includes some 5.6 billion euro provided to the country through MFA programmes aimed at supporting reforms.
Pledging that “the EU stands by the Ukrainian people in these difficult times”, von der Leyen said the proposed MFA programme “will help Ukraine to address its financing needs” arising from the economic and political challenges the country is experiencing, while also strengthening the country’s “state-building and resilience efforts.”
European Commissioner for Trade Valdis Dombrovskis declared that the new macro-financial assistance package would help Ukraine address its financing needs at “this very challenging time”, adding that he was gratified to be able announce this support during his visit to Kiev,”where I have reiterated the EU’s pledge of standing by Ukraine.”
European Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni also stressed the EC’s solidarity with Ukraine, noting that of the 1.2 billion euro in macro-financial assistance, “the first €600 million can be made available as soon as the Council and European Parliament have given their green light to this proposal.”
The MFA programmes are one of the EU’s crisis response instruments made available to neighbouring countries in need of aid. The EC said that the EU supports Ukraine through other programmes as well.