According to EU Commission Chief Ursula von der Leyen, the European Union intends to assist Ukraine with a 1.2 billion euro financial aid package to minimize the impact of the confrontation with Russia, which has stockpiled soldiers and heavy weaponry on Ukraine’s border.
“The Commission proposes a fresh emergency macro-financial support package of 1.2 billion euros,” von der Leyen told reporters on Monday in Brussels, adding that the package will include both emergency loans and grants.
While Moscow awaits official replies from Washington and NATO to its security demands, an estimated 100,000 Russian troops are within striking distance of the Ukrainian border.
Russia wants NATO to rescind its guarantee that Ukraine would one day join the alliance, as well as to withdraw soldiers and weapons from former Communist nations in eastern Europe that joined the alliance during the Cold War.
Von der Leyen, who met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Friday, stated that the EU’s financial assistance plan was designed to “assist Ukraine now in addressing its fast increase in finance demands as a result of the fighting.”
She stated that she was banking on the European Council, which consists of EU countries and legislators, to approve the emergency aid as soon as possible in order to quickly distribute a first tranche of 600 million euros.
Von der Leyen urged international partners such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to take the same strategy and re-engage with Ukraine.
She stated that the European Commission, the bloc’s executive, will nearly quadruple its bilateral support in grants to Kyiv this year, adding additional 120 million euros to the 160 million euros previously planned.
According to von der Leyen, since 2014, when Russia invaded the Ukrainian peninsula Crimea and rebels backed by Moscow gained control of eastern Ukraine, the EU and European financial institutions have given the nation over 17 billion euros in grants and loans.