The European Union is ready to give Ukraine 11 billion euros ($15 billion) in loans and grants over the coming years to help stabilize its economy, the head of the bloc's executive arm said Wednesday. Read the full article here.
Coincidentally, the headline figure of $15 billion for the EU's aid package is the same amount that Russia was prepared to grant Ukraine in loans until the government of President Viktor Yanukovich was ousted last month.
Yanukovich took the Russian loans instead of a wide-ranging trade and economic agreement with the EU, a move that fueled the protests that led to his ouster.
Barroso said that an agreement was still on the table, and the EU is prepared to provisionally grant Ukraine the benefits deriving from it before a full ratification. Ukraine's industrial and agricultural exporters could save some 900 million euros annually through reduced tariffs, the Commission said.
"The situation in Ukraine is a test of our capability and resolve to stabilize our neighborhood and to provide new opportunities for many, not just a few," Barroso told reporters in Brussels. "We need to be up to this challenge."
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