Three billion euros for Ukraine: EIB keeps its promises

Author : Vazil Hudák

Source : 112 Ukraine

Vazil Hudák, vice-president of European Investment Bank, on assisting reforms in Ukraine, “brain drain,” and infrastructural improvement
20:46, 20 December 2016

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Many Ukrainians today suffer a painful loss.

The results of pro-market and anti-corruption reforms are not so obvious to the citizens, as, for example, high energy prices. However, reforms are necessary in order to make Ukraine a stable, prosperous country.

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Taking losses along the way is easier if these changes also bring visible benefits. For example, upgrade the water supply system, built during the Soviet era, or when making safer roads, repaired or appear hospital or insulated buildings for people who have been displaced by conflict in the country... Within the overall support provided to Ukraine by the European Investment Bank (EIB), the bank in 2014 launched a program of specific actions to Ukraine in order to provide 3 billion euros to finance infrastructure, private sector development, and the fight against climate change (last priority includes energy efficiency programs too).

The validity of this program expires this year. This assistance accompanies the Association Agreement between the EU and your country. EIB loans are part of the financial support to Ukraine in the amount of 11 billion euros, the European Commission announced in March 2014.

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On Monday the bank to comply with the commitments signed in Brussels with Ukrainian officials four projects (as part of the program). Ukrainian leadership has achieved a lot during this time. You have come a long way in the fight against corruption, improve governance and public procurement in issue regulations to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, as well as the capital restructuring of the financial regulatory practices and the Tax Code.

I strongly believe that Ukraine can add a major contribution to Europe. Our projects are intended to bring Ukraine closer to Europe and make the relationship mutually beneficial.

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We do not provide general assistance and support very specific projects. We know perfectly that they bring tangible results to ordinary people. For example, we have allocated 120 million euros for energy efficiency Ukrainian universities. These are well thought out investments that provide many benefits. They do not only reduce the environmental impact and the cost of university education in one of the most energy-intensive countries in the world, but also help create comfort training thousands of young Ukrainian students. The knowledge they gain, then turn to researches and development, innovation, and create the ground for economic benefits.

Ukraine already has good opportunities for the development of information technology sector. I hope that in the future our bank would have projects in this area.

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Help of the EIB should help stop the "brain drain", which Ukraine suffers from.

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Another example: EIB loan for 200 million euros to upgrade public transport in 20 Ukrainian cities. These are the new buses, trams and trolleybuses, which we hope will give a significant contribution to the transition from transport fuel to electric motors. The project should pay off by saving energy, not to mention the quality of life for clients, as well as the positive impact on the environment.

European investment bank goes further than the commercial banks, and is not limited to financial aid. Its advisory services also enhance the ability to develop and manage complex investment projects on the ground.

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The EIB is the bank directed policy of the EU, so it loans aim to achieve positive economic, social and environmental impact. We are committed to the development of the private sector. In Ukraine our investments lay the groundwork for greater inflow of finance to the private sector, facilitating immediate economic growth.

We hope that the first signs of receipt of these investments are already visible. For example, last year the trade turnover between Ukraine and Europe grew by 7.5%.

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We are glad to have fulfilled its obligations to Ukraine 3 billion euros. But this is not the end of the story.

We will sign a new memorandum with the government of Ukraine to outline the prospects for cooperation in financing and technical assistance. Thus, the EIB will continue to remain a partner of Ukraine, will promote reforms and bring tangible results to its citizens.

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