The FINANCIAL -- The European Commission on March 16 approved the release of the second tranche of Macro-Financial Assistance (MFA) to Ukraine, a loan which amounts to €600 million, bringing the total Macro-Financial Assistance extended by the EU to Ukraine since 2014 to €2.81 billion, the largest amount disbursed to any non-EU country.
Through the MFA programme approved in April 2015, the EU has helped Ukraine to cover its external financing needs at the peak of the country's balance-of-payments crisis. The programme has also supported the implementation of a wide-ranging structural reform agenda, according to EU Neighbours East Info.
In a press release, the European Commission said Ukraine had largely fulfilled the policy commitments agreed with the EU for the release of this second payment. This included taking important measures to step up the fight against corruption, to foster greater transparency in public finance management, to modernise the public administration, to advance ongoing reforms of the energy and financial sectors, to improve the business environment and to strengthen social safety nets.
"Ukraine has done a remarkable job of stabilising and reforming its economy, despite the armed conflict unfolding on its soil,” said Valdis Dombrovskis, Commission Vice-President responsible for the Euro and Social Dialogue, also in charge of Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union.
Pierre Moscovici, EU Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, described the disbursement as “proof of the EU's sustained support for Ukraine and its citizens”.
Commission services will now raise the €600 million on international capital markets, in order to then lend the funds on to Ukraine in late March or early April.
The EU will continue to work with the Ukrainian authorities to further the country's reform agenda. This will imply further work on the social assistance to be provided to internally displaced persons in Ukraine – where Ukraine has already taken decisive steps – addressing certain trade-restrictive measures, energy sector reforms and the fight against corruption, among other elements.