Ukraine Crisis: EU Says It Will Offer $15 Billion /11 Billion Euro Aid Package To Ukraine

 @JosephLazzaro on March 05 2014 9:14 AM

The economic and political tug of war over Ukraine has moved substantially in the direction of the West.

The European Union Wednesday is ready to provide 11 billion euros ($15 billion) of financial support to Ukraine over the next couple of years via a series of loans and grants, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said on Wednesday, Reuters reported.

The assistance would be delivered in coordination with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the European Investment Bank, and is in part contingent on Ukraine signing a deal with the International Monetary Fund.

"The package combined could bring an overall support of at least 11 billion euros over the next couple of years, from the EU budget and EU-based international financial institutions," Barroso told a news conference, Reuters reported.

The announcement comes a day after the United States offered $1 billion in loan guarantees and said it would send technical experts to Ukraine to advise its central bank and finance ministry on how to tackle economic difficulties.

Ukraine is on the verge of bankruptcy because of economic mismanagement, high energy costs and currency turmoil fuelled by a conflict with Russia since the ouster of Moscow-backed President Viktor Yanukovych in February, Reuters reported.

Western powers have stepped up efforts in recent days to persuade Moscow to pull its forces from the Ukrainian Crimea peninsula, which they seized after the fall of Yanukovych, and avert the risk of war.

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