Mr. Philippe Maystadt, President of the Luxembourg-based European Investment Bank (EIB), and Mr. Oleg Rybachuk, Vice-Prime Minister of Ukraine, have signed a framework agreement governing EIB lending to projects in Ukraine.

The signature will allow the Bank to proceed with the financing of projects in the areas of environment, transport, telecommunications and energy infrastructure in Ukraine. This includes priority Trans-European Network (TEN) projects connecting Ukraine and the European Union. The EIB's activities will be developed in close cooperation with the European Commission, the EBRD and other IFIs operating in the country. This extension of the EIB's activity follows the December 2004 Decision of the Council of the European Union to develop a EUR 500 million mandate allowing for Bank lending in the Eastern Neighbours, notably in Russia and Ukraine.

EIB-President Maystadt stated: "The Framework Agreement signed today forms the basis for the Bank's activity in Ukraine. We are keen to launch the appraisal of suitable projects with a focus on both the development of Trans-European Networks and environmental protection. We aim to foster cooperation with Ukraine, an important neighbour of the enlarged EU". 

The European Investment Bank (EIB), founded in 1958 under the Treaty of Rome establishing the European Community, is the European Union's bank for financing investments that further European integration. The main objective of the EIB is to contribute towards the integration, balanced development and economic and social cohesion of the Member States. Outside the Union, in some 130-partner countries, the EIB helps to implement the European Union's cooperation and development policies, among them the EU's new neighbours policy. Operations in the EU partner countries take place in the framework of lending mandates provided to the Bank by the European Council and the EIB's Governors. Of EUR 43.2 billion lent in 2004, EUR 3.5 billion went to projects outside the EU.