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20 Jun, 2023 11:35

EU preparing $55 billion bailout for Kiev – Bloomberg

Western taxpayers’ money will be used to pay for Ukrainian pensions and the wages of government employees
EU preparing $55 billion bailout for Kiev – Bloomberg

The European Commission wants member states to cough up €50 billion ($55 billion) to bankroll the Ukrainian government, so it can pay wages and pensions, and commence reconstruction projects, sources cited by Bloomberg have said.

The terms of the proposed bailout are subject to change pending an official announcement on Tuesday, the outlet reported on Tuesday. The package will be financed by direct contributions from member states, as opposed to borrowing from the market.

The aid will be provided in the form of grants, concessional loans and guarantees rather than some “burdensome reconstruction instrument,” the outlet said, adding that the money would be provided between 2024 and 2027.

The Ukrainian budget has been receiving cash injections from Western sponsors to keep it running. Washington and its allies have pledged to help Kiev “for as long as it takes” to defeat Russia, including through the provision of non-military support.

The US alone provided $26.4 billion in budgetary aid between January 2022 and February 2023, according to the Council on Foreign Relations think tank. The aid package announced by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) on February 24 was worth $9.9 billion.

Critics of the policy have claimed Ukraine has a lengthy record of grafting and argued that the money could have been spent by Western nations at home to solve their own immediate problems. Bloomberg sources suggested that the EU funding would be made conditional on Kiev delivering reforms “to improve the rule of law and address corruption.”

According to Reuters, the European Commission is set to publish a report this week about Kiev’s effort, which will state that it has met two of the seven conditions to start membership negotiations. The milestones reportedly relate to judicial reform and media regulation.

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