Ukraine secures another $5 billion in funding after meetings, prime minister says


  • World
  • Saturday, 15 Apr 2023

Ukraine Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal holds a news conference at the Ukrainian Embassy after attending the IMF-World Bank meetings in Washington, U.S., April 14, 2023. REUTERS/Leah Millis

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Ukraine secured promises of $5 billion in additional funding to support its ongoing fight against Russia amid "fruitful meetings" in Washington this week, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal told reporters on Friday.

Shmyhal met with representatives of the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the European Investment Bank as well as top U.S. officials, on the sidelines of the spring meetings of the IMF and World Bank.

He said Ukraine received new pledges of additional support from Switzerland, Denmark and a number of other countries during the meetings, as well as an agreement from U.S. aircraft maker Boeing Co to relieve Ukrainian companies of $200 million in previous commitments. Kyiv expected to receive more support during an upcoming conference in London, he added.

"The international partners have reassured us of their long-term support," Shmyhal said, describing his meetings in Washington, and referring to total financing of $115 billion over the next four years that was leveraged by the IMF's approval last month of a $15.6 billion loan.

Ukraine needs about $14 billion in funding this year to close a budget gap, Shmyhal said, noting that the United States would provide $2.3 billion to plug the hole, while the European Union would provide 1 billion euros ($1.10 billion).

In addition to Switzerland and Denmark, he said Spain, Ireland, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Iceland and the Netherlands also promised more aid.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who paid a surprise visit to Kyiv in February and met with Shmyhal again on Thursday, repeatedly urged finance ministers and central banks to maintain support for Ukraine, the Treasury Department said.

Yellen on Thursday said she told Shmyhal the United States had provided significant economic support to Ukraine since the start of the war in February 2022, and would deliver more in coming months, on top of security and humanitarian aid.

'ON LIFE SUPPORT'

Shmyhal said Ukrainian officials met with a number of U.S. cabinet secretaries in addition to Yellen, including Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, with a big focus on laying the groundwork for Ukraine's recovery and attracting foreign investment.

He said the discussions also touched on Ukraine's insistence that the United States and other allies confiscate Russian assets to help cover the cost of rebuilding Ukraine - a sum put at $411 billion by the World Bank in a recent estimate.

He urged the Group of Seven advanced economies to reaffirm their support for Ukraine and discuss the confiscation issue during an upcoming leaders summit in Japan, which is leading the G7 this year.

The Netherlands and Switzerland also pledged support for the International Finance Corp's $2 billion Economic Resilience Action program that is designed to ramp up support for Ukraine’s private sector and boost economic resilience amid the war.

The IFC program aims to leverage these donor funds using private sector investments, which will be needed to help cover the staggering cost of Ukraine's recovery.

"A strong private sector is essential to help Ukraine's economy recover and support reconstruction efforts," said Makhtar Diop, the IFC's managing director. "Ukraine's economy remains on life support, and we will continue working with other development partners to provide the guarantees and grants the private sector needs."

The World Bank also announced $200 million in grant financing for a project to Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, with some $300 million in additional funding envisaged to come from partners through grants and other contributions.

($1 = 0.9094 euros)

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal and Katharine Jackson; editing by Susan Heavey, Diane Craft and Paul Simao)

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