EU offers Ukraine 1.2 billion euro aid package


European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen delivers a statement on Ukraine at EU headquarters in Brussels, Belgium January 24, 2022. John Thys/Pool via REUTERS

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BRUSSELS, Jan 24 (Reuters) – The European Union is aiming to help Ukraine with 1.2 billion euros in financial aid to ease the effects of the conflict with Russia, which has amassed troops and heavy weapons in the Ukrainian border, said European Commission chief Ursula von der. said Leyen.

“The Commission is proposing a new emergency macro-financial assistance package of €1.2 billion,” von der Leyen told reporters in Brussels on Monday, adding that the package would consist of both emergency loans and of grants.

An estimated 100,000 Russian troops are within range of the Ukrainian border as Moscow awaits written responses from Washington and NATO to its security demands. Read more

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Russia wants NATO to withdraw its promise that Ukraine could one day join the alliance and withdraw troops and weapons from former communist countries in Eastern Europe that joined after the Cold War.

Von der Leyen, who spoke to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Friday, said the EU’s financial aid package was intended to “help Ukraine now cope with its rapidly escalating needs funding because of the conflict”.

She said she counted on the European Council, bringing together EU governments and EU lawmakers, to approve the emergency aid as soon as possible in order to quickly disburse a first tranche of 600 million euros. euros.

Von der Leyen called on international partners such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to follow the same approach and renew their engagement with Ukraine.

The European Commission itself, the bloc’s executive, would nearly double its bilateral aid in grants to Kyiv this year, adding another 120 million euros to the 160 million euros already earmarked, she said.

Since 2014, when Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula and Moscow-backed separatists seized control of eastern Ukraine, the EU and European financial institutions have allocated more than €17 billion of grants and loans to the country, according to von der Leyen.

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Report by Sabine Siebold and Marine Strauss

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