MOSCOW, March 11 (RIA Novosti) – The World Bank announced Tuesday that it will provide up to $3 billion to support reforms in Ukraine, which is struggling to put its economy back on track amid political turbulence.
The lender said that restoring economic stability, strengthening the banking sector, reforming the energy sector, tackling corruption, enhancing investment and improving social assistance were key priorities for Ukraine.
“We are committed to supporting the people of Ukraine in these difficult times and very much hope that the situation in the country stabilizes soon,” said World Bank Group president Jim Yong Kim.
The pledged assistance comes on top of existing cooperation between Ukraine and the bank.
The World Bank says it has already been implementing a $3.7 billion program in Ukraine to improve water supply, sanitation, power and roads, and support the private sector.
Russia committed in mid-December to issuing Ukraine credit worth $15 billion in the form of internationally listed eurobonds. Moscow last postponed the payment of the second tranche of that promised loan last month, however, saying it was doubtful it could work with the government installed after the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych.
In a bid to forestall Ukraine’s looming balance-of-payments crisis, the European Commission last week announced it would provide Ukraine with 11 billion euros ($15 billion) over two years.
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said the credit was designed to enable “a committed, inclusive and reforms-oriented government in rebuilding a stable and prosperous future for Ukraine.”
The European Commission statement came a day after the US pledged $1 billion to Kiev in loan guarantees.
Still, all the pledges of financial assistance still fall short of the $35 billion that Ukraine’s government last month said would be needed for the economy to stay afloat.