EU Ministers back 5-bn-euro loan to Ukraine

by IANS |

Prague, Sep 10 (IANS) Finance and economy ministers of the European Union (EU) member states have agreed to support the swift adoption of additional financial assistance to Ukraine to the tune of 5 billion euros.

"The new loan of 5 billion euros will be used for the day-to-day running of the state and to ensure the operation of the country's critical infrastructure, such as offices, schools and hospitals," Czech Finance Minister Zbynek Stanjura said in a statement on Friday after the first day of an informal meeting of the member states' ministers and central bank governors.

Stanjura added that he would also push for "a swift agreement on the provision of the remaining 3 billion euros".

The EU has pledged 9 billion euros in assistance for Ukraine.

In early August, Ukraine received 1 billion euros of the aid package in two tranches.

Besides the loan package, the participants of the meeting also discussed here ways to protect citizens from high energy prices.

"The current situation on energy markets requires an immediate EU-wide solution," Stanjura was quoted as saying in the statement.

"Personally, I consider it reasonable to cap prices at European level for electricity from sources other than gas, which generates huge profits -- and also to separate electricity prices from gas prices," he said.

The Czech Minister further said that his country is aiming to present a new set of measures next week, which it expects would work alongside any EU-level solution to be agreed by the member states.

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