Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine Hugues Mingarelli says Ukraine needs to fulfill a number of conditions to receive the third tranche of macro-financial assistance totaling EUR 600 million, including lifting the ban on timber exports, according to the official's interview with the Segodnya newspaper.
Ukraine will lose the third EUR 600 million tranche of macro-financial assistance if it fails to lift the ban on timber exports, according to Mr Mingarelli, Segodnya wrote.
The EU is to make a decision on the issue before year-end, meaning Ukraine is to receive money in early 2018. However, there are six or seven conditions in the area of fighting corruption, social assistance to internally displaced persons (IDPs), trade, and energy, which Ukraine has yet to fulfill, Mingarelli says. If the situation does not change, the country will not receive another aid tranche, the Segodnya reports.
As UNIAN reported earlier, In April 2014, the European Union, which is one of Ukraine's key lenders and donors, announced its readiness to provide financial assistance to Ukraine to the tune of EUR 11 billion: EUR 1.6 billion in loans, EUR 1.4 billion in grants, EUR 5 billion from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and EUR 3 billion from the European Investment Bank. As part of the credit program, Ukraine has received only EUR 600 million.
In 2015, the EU proposed a new package of loan assistance amounting to EUR 1.8 billion. Ukraine has already received EUR 600 billion under this program.
Law enforcers prevent illegal timber export from Odesa However, the allocation of disbursements was suspended until the Verkhovna Rada adopted the bills lifting the ban on timber exports and ensuring support to IDPs. In 2016 Ukraine received no loan tranches from the EU.
The EU's condition to lift the ban on timber exports for obtaining macro-financial assistance was announced in the second half of 2016. According to the European side, the desire of the Ukrainian authorities to ban exports and thus establish control over deforestation and the sale of timber saw no success. The EU Delegation maintained that uncontrolled exports continue, while the state receives no direct income from this activity. Moreover, uncontrolled deforestation never stopped, which has serious environmental implications for Ukraine.
Ukraine receives second EUR 600 mln disbursement from EUIn this regard, the EU proposed to abolish the ban on timber exports as it failed to fulfill its direct function, to introduce effective control over the sale of timber, and to develop a strategy for the restoration of forests.
At the same time, the EU Delegation vowed to provide assistance to this end. In early February 2017, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said that the EU would allocate EUR 600 million to Ukraine even without the Rada adopting a law to lift a timber export ban. It was enough to simply submit a corresponding bill to Parliament
In April 2017, the European Union provided Ukraine with the second tranche of macro-financial assistance to the tune of EUR 600 million.