|At an extraordinary meeting convened on 4 March to discuss urgent support for Ukraine, the Board of Directors of the European Investment Bank (EIB) unanimously expressed its horror and condemnation of Russia’s brutal, illegal, and unjustified aggression against Ukraine.|
It also approved €668m-worth of immediate financial support for Ukraine. This initial support package for the war-torn country benefits from the EU guarantee under the External Lending Mandate and complements other initiatives announced by EU institutions.
It will help Ukrainian authorities to meet its most urgent financial needs, including buying food, medical supplies, and fuel for its citizens. The immediate support will be available in a matter of days. The EIB will disburse funds available under two EIB loans that were originally granted to support SMEs and the agricultural sector in Ukraine.
Additionally, the board agreed that the EIB should pursue further initiatives under the emergency Solidarity Package for Ukraine. These include Financing critical infrastructure needs in Ukraine by repurposing infrastructure project commitments to meet immediate investment and reconstruction needs. These will cover transportation, energy, urban development, and digital investment. This money can be available as soon as Ukrainian authorities are in a position to sign off on amendments to existing contracts.
They also include helping to rebuild whatever the Russian army destroys by financing new critical economic and social infrastructure needed as soon as a free and independent Ukraine is re-established after the war. For this the EIB will use its experience with the Ukraine Early Recovery Programme that had supported the country after the Russian aggression of 2014 by reconstructing 238 municipal and social infrastructure projects like schools and kindergartens, hospitals, and social housing.
Additionally, EIB experts are currently assessing the needs of countries in Ukraine’s neighbourhood and within the EU that are welcoming refugees from Ukraine or are affected by the war in other ways.
The EU bank is working with national and local authorities, National Promotional Institutions, and other counterparties to make financial and technical assistance urgently available to these countries and regions. Financing could take the form of rapidly reprioritising existing undisbursed loans to regions and municipalities or approving new refugee-related operations that the EIB could finance up to a 100% instead of the usual maximum 50%.
Werner Hoyer, the President of the EIB, said: “In the face of Russia’s shocking military aggression, I am moved by the determination, bravery, and grit of the Ukrainian people. We are determined to do everything we can to support Ukraine and concretely demonstrate European solidarity with the country. With the crucial support of the European Commission, we have put together a significant financial package as part of the EU’s overall immediate response.”
“Today, our board has agreed to make €668m of much needed liquidity available to support the Ukrainian authorities. This is the first part of our emergency Solidarity Package for Ukraine. Additionally, the bank is looking at ways to accelerate the delivery of an additional €1.3bn of investment. As soon as conditions allow, we will help rebuild what the invasion destroyed in Ukraine. We will also step in to help all affected countries, whether within the EU or in its neighbourhood, to cope with the arrival of refugees from Ukraine and with the economic damage brought by this terrible war.”
Valdis Dombrovskis, the Executive Vice President of the European Commission, said: “This welcome and substantial EIB package is the latest demonstration of the EU’s unwavering solidarity with Ukraine whenever the country is facing immense needs. It will provide immediate liquidity to the Ukrainian government as they fight against Russia’s illegal and cruel aggression. The EU Commission will leave no stone unturned in providing maximum support to Ukraine, working with Member States and other EU institutions and bodies.”