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Thursday, February 22, 2024

War in Ukraine. The European Commission has disbursed the first tranche of the aid package worth EUR 18 billion

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The European Commission has paid Ukraine the first tranche of three billion euros out of the 18 billion euros planned for 2023. These funds will make it possible to stabilize the situation in Ukraine, including the maintenance of basic public services. The first lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska and the head of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen met that day as part of the World Economic Forum in Davos. “There will be no impunity for Russian crimes and we will not stop helping Ukraine,” von der Leyen said.

Olena Zelenskapresident’s wife Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky spoke on Tuesday during the annual World Economic Forum in Davos. We are facing the threat and collapse of the world as we know it. To what we are used to and what we strive for. What kind of life can it be where tanks can hit a nuclear power plant? What will happen with inflationwhen national borders start to collapse and the integrity of countries is trampled on by those who want it? What will happen to the cost of living when millions, tens of millions of people are forced to flee mass starvation? she asked.

Olena ZelenskaPAP/EPA/GIAN EHRENZELLER

– This is what Russia is doing with its artillery, missiles and Iranian drones. You know that Russian aggression was never intended to be confined to Ukraine’s borders. This goes on, the crisis deepens, she assessed.

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In her speech, she also called for action to prevent a “full-scale global crisis.” Zelenskaya also argued that “a new Chernobyl cannot be allowed to happen”, i.e. a nuclear accident in Ukraine.

Von der Leyen: We will not stop helping Ukraine

After Zelenskaya, the head of the European Commission spoke directly to the first lady of Ukraine. – Olena, you and your people, against all expectations, resist the Russian invasion and drive out the invader, despite the cruel attacks on civilians and the harsh winter. Even that didn’t shake your attitude. Over the past year, your homeland has moved the world and inspired Europe, and I can assure you that Europe will always be with you, she said.

– Many had doubts whether Europe’s support for Ukraine would be so unwavering, but today Ukraine is a candidate country for the European Union – she reminded.

Ursula von der Leyen and Olena Zelenska in DavosPAP/EPA/GIAN EHRENZELLER

Von der Leyen added that European Union countries they are transferring more and more weapons to Ukraine and have taken in more than four million refugees from the country. “We have also introduced the toughest sanctions in history, which will cause decades of recession in Russia and deprive its industry of access to any modern technologies,” added the President of the European Commission.

“There will be no impunity for Russian crimes and we will not stop helping Ukraine,” von der Leyen said.

The European Commission has paid Ukraine the first tranche of the macro-financial assistance package

On Tuesday the European Commission disbursed to Ukraine the first tranche of €3 billion of its macro-financial assistance package worth up to €18 billion. The package was finally approved by the Council of the European Union in mid-December 2022.

– Supporting Ukraine in meeting its financial needs in the face of Russian aggression is both crucial and urgent. Today’s disbursement of the first €3 billion of the maximum €18 billion in macro-financial support agreed in December shows that the Commission is acting with the utmost speed and determination, described von der Leyen.

The transferred funds are to be used to pay salaries and pensions and to maintain basic public services, such as hospitals, schools and housing for internally displaced persons. The money will also allow Ukraine to ensure macroeconomic stability and rebuild critical infrastructure destroyed as a result of the Russian invasion.

Further payments of €1.5 billion a month are due from March and will be conditional on satisfactory progress in implementing the agreed conditions as well as continued compliance with reporting requirements, the Commission said.

The 20 target political conditions that Ukraine and the Commission consider achievable by the end of 2023 concern four policy areas: macro-financial stability, structural reforms and good governance, rule of law and anti-corruption, and energy.

The funds to support Ukraine under this package come from loans on capital markets.

Main photo source: PAP/EPA/LAURENT GILLIERON



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