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Aid for Ukraine finally approved by Council of the

On the 31st of March the Council of the European Union approved the Commission’s proposal for new macro-financial assistance (MFA) to Ukraine.  The approval by the Council came just days after the European Parliament’s approval on the 25th of March. The two approvals were necessary for swift disbursement of up to €1.8bn in medium-term loans in 2015 (€1.2bn) and 2016 (€600m).

The Commission also decided to disburse a final tranche of €250m under MFA 1, which is expected to take place still this month. The new MFA comes on top of what the EU is already contributing via the State Building contract in terms of humanitarian and technical assistance and in terms of project assistance. In the course of 2014, the Commission disbursed €1.36bn in support of Ukraine under existing MFA programs.

The Commission put the new MFA program, worth a total of 1,8 billion euros, forward already on the 8th of January. According to the Commission the MFA program is intended to assist Ukraine economically and financially with the critical challenges the country is facing, such as a weak balance of payments and fiscal situation. The intention is also to help the new reform-orientated government strengthen the country and deal with economic and political challenges.

In order to meet the particularly acute challenge presented by the situation in Ukraine the Commission has also already established a Support Group for Ukraine. The Support Group concentrates and coordinates the resources and expertise of the European Commission in order not just to monitor but also to assist Ukraine in the implementation of the Association Agreement and, crucially, in undertaking the deep and systemic reforms that will be necessary if the country is to draw maximum benefit from a closer relationship with the European Union. This is the first time such a Support Group has been established for any country outside the borders of the EU.

Sources:

http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEX-15-4736_en.htm

http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-15-3920_en.htm

http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-15-3020_en.htm

http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-15-4696_en.htm

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