Today in Brussels, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Commission announced the latest set of loans, totalling approximately EUR 600 million, as part of the European Union's commitment to Ukraine made in March 2014.
At a dedicated signing ceremony at the headquarters of the European Commission, the EIB honoured its commitment for the period 2014 – 2016 to provide a EUR 3 billion financial assistance programme to support Ukraine and strengthen its competitiveness, resilience, energy security and improve the quality of life for Ukrainian citizens. This programme forms part of the EUR 11 billion EU support package announced by the EU in March 2014.
This latest set of EIB loans complements a range of other investments provided by the EIB since March 2014 to help Ukraine stabilise its economic and financial situation, to increase resilience, and to support a prosperous future for the country.
The loans, which are partly underpinned by EU grants, will provide funding for energy efficiency, higher education, sustainable transport, private sector and business support and were signed by the Vice-President of the EIB Vazil Hudák in the presence of the Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for Energy Union, Maroš Šefčovič and the Director-General for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations at the European Commission, Christian Danielsson.
In addition, Ukraine and the European Investment Bank also signed a Memorandum of Understanding to underline the importance of future support beyond 2016 and to set out areas for possible future cooperation between Ukraine and the Bank.
The package of loans announced today cover:
- support for Ukraine’s higher education and energy efficiency - EUR 120m
- modernisation of the country’s railways – EUR 150m
- upgrade of infrastructure of agriculture company Nibulon – EUR 71m
- support for Ukraine’s small and medium sized companies and MidCaps – EUR 260m
EIB Vice-President Vazil Hudák commented: “Our commitment to support Ukraine is cast iron and enduring. In 2014 the EU committed to an ambitious financing programme to support Ukraine at a time of crisis and daunting challenges to the country. The EIB Group committed to providing 3 of those 11 billion euro. Today we have met that target.”
He added, “The projects we have signed today address the demands of Ukraine to modernize its economy, notably infrastructure in the areas of education and transport as well as energy efficiency. Furthermore, we are increasing our support for the development of the private sector, including SMEs and MidCap companies, to make them more competitive and take advantage of increasing opportunities for closer exchanges with the rest of Europe. Our investments are fully in line with EU priorities for Ukraine under the DCFTA and the Eastern Partnership and we value our cooperation with the European Commission and the External Action Service in providing such ‘joined up’ support.”
Prime Minister of Ukraine, Volodymyr Groysman said: “After several painful years of recession, Ukraine’s economy is finally growing again. This is the moment when support and investments from the EU and European business will give us the long awaited impetus. Ukraine’s progress is possible, in particular, because of significant support from the EU, which comes in the form of financial support and technical assistance. In this respect our agreements with the European Investment Bank, aimed at supporting reforms in the spheres of education, energy efficiency and railways are of great importance to us. We hope, that the positive efforts of the Ukrainian government and positive changes in our state will be taken into consideration by the EU according to the principle “more for more” which will result in the continuation of the EU’s broad support for Ukraine.”
“In the realm of Energy Union, Ukraine is a key partner for the EU. We work together on security of supply, energy efficiency and other important areas,” said European Commission Vice-President for the Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič who was also at the signing event in Brussels.
Commissioner Johannes Hahn, in charge of EU Neighbourhood Policy, said: “Europe is demonstrating today that it keeps its promises to Ukraine. We are well on the way now to ratifying the Association Agreement, to delivering visa liberalisation, and we keep our promises too on financial assistance, in which the EIB plays an important role.”
More information on today’s signatures between EIB and Ukraine:
The EIB is supporting the improvement of infrastructure and energy efficiency in Ukraine with two loans which will both benefit from technical assistance funded by the EU’s Neighbourhood Investment Facility and the Eastern Partnership Technical Assistance Trust Fund, in project preparation.
EIB funds will finance the refurbishment of teaching, research and supporting facilities of universities in Ukraine with a particular focus on energy efficiency. This project will help these universities to achieve the highest educational and research standards by improving their facilities. It will also reduce energy consumption significantly with an important and positive environmental impact.
EIB will also help upgrade Ukraine’s railway infrastructure through the electrification and modernization of some 253 km of railway lines in the Southern region of Ukraine (from Dolynska to Mykolaiv and from Mykolaiv to Kolosivka). This will help eliminate existing bottlenecks and improve connections towards the Ukrainian ports on the Black Sea.
Supporting the development of the private sector is a key objective of the EU bank in its actions in Ukraine. The support to private companies of all sizes is aimed at creating jobs and improving standard of living of Ukrainian households. In this context, the EU bank is providing financing to foster a multi-scheme investment at Nibulon, one of the country’s largest privately owned grain producers and trading company. Investments will be focused on creating a more sustainable, modern and expanded system for grain storage and transportation. The investments will have a positive impact on the environment by substituting road transportation with river transportation through a countrywide network of river terminals and river transportation equipment.
EIB is continuing its support for trade transactions as well as investment projects by SMEs and Mid-Cap companies in Ukraine, through Ukreximbank, a well-established EIB partner. The EIB loan will improve access for these companies to substantial funding and create new opportunities for Ukraine to better benefit from the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) Agreement.
For broadcasters: video of today's signatures and statements – EBS: http://ec.europa.eu/avservices/focus/index.cfm?sitelang=en&focusid=2020