In budget negotiations, Lithuania lobbies EU to boost long-term funding for Ukraine

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The European Union should allocate more funds in its revised long-term budget to support Ukraine, Lithuanian Finance Minister Gintare Skaiste said on Sept. 16, news agency Reuters reported.

Read also: Lithuanian, Polish presidents voice support for greenlighting Ukraine’s NATO membership by 2024

In June, during the revision of the EU budget for 2021-2027, the European Commission proposed grants and loans for Ukraine worth EUR 50 billion ($53.37 billion). Under these conditions, Ukraine will receive EUR 12.5 billion ($13.34 billion) in loans annually from 2024 to 2027 – while this year the EU will allocate Ukraine EUR 18 billion ($19.21 billion) in loans under very easy lending terms.

“If you divide the amount of euros that is in the proposal over four years, the sum will be lower than this year. So our proposal is that maybe we can have the same level as it was in 2023,” Skaiste said in an interview with Reuters.

Lithuania proposed to increase the total amount to EUR 72 billion ​​($76.85 billion) – which would be EUR 18 billion ($19.21 billion) annually from 2024 to 2027.

Read also: EU commissioner assesses Ukraine’s progress with reforms

Reuters adds that EU governments are aiming to reach an agreement on a revised 2021-2027 budget by the end of 2023. However, the negotiations are difficult, as the Commission has also asked for an additional EUR 15 billion ($16.01 billion) to address migration issues, as well as additional money to cover the rising costs of borrowing on the EU’s common debt due to rising interest rates.

In December 2022, the European Union agreed to provide Ukraine with EUR 18 billion ($19.21 billion) in macro-financial assistance.

Ukraine and the EU signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the provision of the macro-financial assistance on Jan. 16, 2023.

Earlier, it was reported that the European Union would cover almost half of Ukraine’s financing needs by 2027.

Read also: EU provides Ukraine another €1.5 billion in macro-financial aid

The EU on Aug. 22 disbursed a EUR 1.5 billion ($1.601 billion) tranche of macro-financial assistance to Ukraine out of a EUR 18 billion ($19.21 billion) package. This was the seventh tranche of macro-financial assistance received by Ukraine.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine

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