EU disbursed an initial installment of $4.8 billion to assist Ukraine

This money, Von der Leyen elaborated, will be “crucial to help Ukraine maintain the functioning of the state in this complicated moment”.

The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, announced this Wednesday the disbursement to Ukraine of a first tranche of 4.5 billion euros ($4.878 billion) from the 50 billion euros ($54.202 billion) support package for the next four years agreed upon by the European Union (EU) less than a month ago, once Hungary’s initial veto was lifted.

“Financing is flowing to cover Ukraine’s urgent needs, and the country has built a solid foundation for EU support until the end of 2027,” said Von der Leyen in a statement alongside Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal.

This money, Von der Leyen elaborated, will be “crucial to help Ukraine maintain the functioning of the state in this complicated moment” amidst Russian aggression; Brussels plans to make a second payment of 1.5 billion euros ($1.626 billion) in April once Kyiv begins to fulfill the first agreed conditions for aid disbursement.

In addition to the disbursement, Shmyhal went to Brussels to deliver to Von der Leyen the country’s plan to, in his words, “return to rapid growth and recover the losses caused by the war.”

“We have done extensive work to prepare this plan, which covers nearly 70 areas of reform, including the public sector, a series of economic reforms to develop a business and entrepreneurial climate, and creating points of future growth for our economy,” he stated.

Von der Leyen stressed that the plan uses a similar approach to the EU’s own post-pandemic recovery plan, combining reforms with investments, so it should “boost growth” and at the same time help Ukraine move closer to the European Union.

“I am confident that we will be able to assess it positively soon,” said the President of the European Commission.

The Ukrainian Prime Minister also celebrated that the EU and Ukraine had “never been so united” and thanked the 88 billion euros ($95.395 billion) received from the European bloc and its member states until the end of 2023 in the last two years, which have been key to “ensuring macrofinancial stability and internal resilience” of the country and covering the most urgent budgetary needs or supporting millions of citizens.

Besides that, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky celebrated in his speech to the nation last night that some of Kiev’s allies announced on Tuesday at a meeting held in Germany more military assistance for Kiev, including aid in artillery.

The head of state also revealed that Ukraine is working on signing new bilateral security agreements like those it has already reached with countries such as the United Kingdom, Germany, and France.

In these agreements, Ukraine’s partners set the amount they will allocate to help Kiev this year and commit to providing military support over the next ten years.

“There will be new defense packages, including artillery,” said Zelensky, who noted that Ukraine is experiencing a “shortage” in this area.

The president was proud of the decision of more countries to join the Czech plan to buy 800,000 artillery munitions outside the European Union, which will then be delivered to Ukraine.

Prague has found nearly an additional million projectiles after identifying that initial amount. The countries joining the plan contribute money to acquire these munitions.

“Of course, the priority of air defense, electronic warfare, and drones remains,” said Zelensky, who thanked the countries assisting him in these fields.

The president stated that “Ukrainian drones are already yielding solid results,” referring to domestically produced devices, and anticipated “significant progress” in cooperation with foreign partners in the field of unmanned aerial vehicles.

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