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International aid for CEE: EIB reaffirms support for Eastern Partnership, Ukraine secures funds for energy reforms

At the latest Eastern Partnership Foreign Ministers meeting in Brussels, the Vice-President of the European Investment Bank (EIB), Teresa Czerwińska, confirmed the EIB’s commitment to increase cooperation in economic recovery and sustainable investments in the Eastern Neighbourhood, as well as tackling the challenges and consequences of the Russian war against Ukraine for the entire region.

“As the bank of the European Union, our responsibility is to support Eastern Partnership countries at this extremely challenging time for the region,” said Mrs Czerwińska. “Since the first days following Russia’s invasion, we have worked closely with our Ukrainian partners, as well as with the European Commission and others, to mobilise immediate financing for Ukraine’s most urgent needs and then to prioritise the implementation of existing projects that can best enhance or rebuild the country’s critical infrastructure. This support will need to continue over the coming year. Together with the European Commission, Ukraine and other European and global partners, we are already preparing the way to be ready to further step up support — both financial and advisory — for Ukraine’s reconstruction now and once the war is over.”

The EIB is considered to be a “key stakeholder” in the EU-led Eastern Partnership, which comprises Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. In 2021, Belarus suspended its participation in the cooperation platform.

“We also pledged to support Ukraine’s neighbouring countries most affected by the war and have worked closely with the Moldovan authorities to prioritise investments in key sectors such as energy and transport, including in support of the EU Solidarity Lanes initiative,” Vice-President Czerwińska added. “Following the EU decision to grant candidate country status to Moldova and Ukraine and an EU perspective to Georgia, we will also focus on investments that can best support all three countries on their path towards accession. In Armenia and Azerbaijan we remain committed to financing projects of common interest including in support of regional connectivity, climate action and the environment, as well as support for small businesses and social infrastructure.”

Ukraine secures additional support from separate Eastern Partnership fund

Separately, last week, the Deputy Minister of Energy of Ukraine, Yulia Pidkomorna, announced that Ukraine will receive 36.4 million euros for projects related to energy efficiency and decarbonisation. In particular, the funds will provide new grants for the implementation of municipal projects.

The new financing is covered by the Eastern Europe Energy Efficiency and Environment Partnership (E5R), which assists Eastern Partnership countries to accelerate environmental and climate policies. The fund is managed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).  

“The Ministry of Energy emphasises the importance of projects initiated and completed during the activity of the E5R Fund in Ukraine and expresses gratitude to international donors and the E5R Fund for supporting Ukraine’s efforts aimed at promoting energy efficiency, greening and decarbonisation of the economy. Currently, the implementation of projects that will contribute to the restoration of damaged infrastructure and improve the country’s energy security is particularly important,” said the Deputy Minister.

The latest contributions were announced at the E5P Assembly in London, last week. Germany and Sweden are providing 20 million euros and 10 million euros, respectively, for Ukraine. Additionally, Finland is contributing 6.1 million euros to the region (4.5 million of which is for Ukraine), whilst Norway is providing 5 million euros (1.9 million of which is also for Ukraine). Ukraine is the main beneficiary of the new grants.

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