BRUSSELS, June 17 (RIA Novosti) — The European Commission (EC) transferred the first loan tranche of half a billion euros to Ukraine under the new financial assistance programme, according to the EC press release published Tuesday.
“The European Commission, on behalf of the EU, today disbursed €500 million to Ukraine, the first loan tranche from the new EU Macro-Financial Assistance (MFA II) programme for the country. This follows a disbursement of €100 million on 20 May from the previously agreed MFA programme (MFA I). The objective of both MFA programmes is to support Ukraine economically and financially in the current critical stage of its development,” the press release said, explaining that the principal aim of the assistance lies in the reduction of "the economy’s short-term balance of payments and fiscal vulnerabilities."
"The European Union is providing essential support for Ukraine's efforts to address its major economic challenges. Today's disbursement is a further concrete sign of European solidarity towards the people of Ukraine. It is vital that Ukraine seizes this opportunity to take forward reforms to deliver budgetary stability, sustainable growth and job creation," Olli Rehn, European Commission Vice President for Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro, said, as quoted in the press release.
The MFA aid for Ukraine is set for a total of €1.61 billion, which means another €1.01 billion will be directed to Ukraine in the nearest future, adding to the resources of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other donors.
Although further EC payments "will be conditional on the implementation of specific economic policy actions," outlined in two Memoranda of Understanding between the European Commission and the Ukrainian authorities dated 2013 and 2014.
The money comes alongside a broader aid package the West is gathering to help kick-start Ukraine’s flagging economy and stabilize the political situation in the country.