Business news from Ukraine

France pledges €650 mln in aid to Ukraine

On Friday, June 7, Emmanuel Macron and Volodymyr Zelenskyy will sign two agreements to provide Ukraine with €650 million in loans and grants, in particular to support local authorities and critical infrastructure, the Elysee Palace said on Wednesday, Le Monde reports.

The first agreement will reportedly provide the French Development Agency with “€400 million in loans and €50 million in grants until 2027” to “expand its activities in Ukraine” by providing support in the energy and transport sectors, in particular “to develop administrative capacity.”

The second agreement concerns the creation of a “support fund” for critical infrastructure, which will be invested with €200 million euros “to support French companies in future tenders (…) in the energy, transport, water and sanitation, health and agriculture sectors”.

It is noted that “these funds will be used to finance large projects, strengthen or replace failing energy infrastructure” as it is the object of special attention from Moscow.


Cabinet of Ministers approves agreement with US on $7.85 bln in aid to Ukrainian budget

At a meeting on Thursday, the Cabinet of Ministers approved an intergovernmental agreement with the United States to raise $7.849 billion in economic aid for the Ukrainian budget.

“Today we are approving a draft agreement between Ukraine and the United States, which will allow Ukraine to receive about $7.9 billion in financial and economic support. These are funds under the new US aid package that will be allocated to the Ukrainian budget,” Shmyhal said at a government meeting.

According to the text of the agreement, published in Telegram by MP Yaroslav Zheleznyak, another $50 million will be allocated to prevent and respond to food insecurity, but the list of recipient countries will be determined later.

In addition, Ukraine may be among the countries that will receive another $1.575 million in economic assistance.

It is noted that the United States provides funds on an interest-free loan with the condition of repayment in one payment 40 years after September 30, 2025. At the same time, the agreement provides for the possibility of writing off part or all of this debt by the US President: after November 15, 2024, up to 50% of the loan may be canceled, and after January 1, 2026, the entire amount of debt may be canceled.


Biden signs bill to provide aid to Ukraine and Israel – New York Times article

The $95.3 billion bill was passed after months of congressional gridlock jeopardized a major thrust of President Biden’s foreign policy.

President Biden was set to sign a $95.3 billion aid package for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan on Wednesday, reaffirming U.S. support for Kyiv in its fight against Russia’s military attack after months of congressional gridlock threatened the White House’s main foreign policy thrust.

On Tuesday evening, the Senate voted overwhelmingly to approve the package, a sign of bipartisan support after growing policy divisions raised questions on Capitol Hill and among U.S. allies about whether the United States would continue to support Kyiv. The 79 to 18 vote gave Biden another legislative achievement to boast about, even in the face of an obstructionist House of Representatives.

“Congress passed my bill to strengthen our national security and send a message to the world about the strength of American leadership: We stand firmly for democracy and freedom, against tyranny and oppression,” Mr. Biden said Tuesday night, just minutes after the Senate vote.

He said he would sign the bill into law and address the American people on Wednesday “so we can start sending weapons and equipment to Ukraine this week.”

The White House first requested the security package in October, and officials explicitly acknowledged that the six-month delay has put Ukraine at a disadvantage in its fight against Russia.

“The Russians are slowly but successfully taking more and more territory from the Ukrainians and pushing them to the first, second, and sometimes third line of defense,” John F. Kirby, spokesman for President Biden’s National Security Council, said on Air Force One on Tuesday. “The short answer is yes, there has been damage done over the last several months.”

Nevertheless, the passage of the legislation ended an extraordinary period in Washington. Speaker Mike Johnson had to overcome fierce right-wing opposition to get it through the House of Representatives. The aid is split into four parts: one measure for each of the three US allies and another designed to sweeten the deal for conservatives, which includes a provision that could lead to a nationwide ban on TikTok.

The bill includes $60.8 billion for Ukraine; $26.4 billion for Israel and humanitarian aid to civilians in conflict zones, including Gaza; and $8.1 billion for the Indo-Pacific. It also includes sanctions against Iranian and Russian officials.

The House of Representatives also added a provision requiring the president to demand that the Ukrainian government repay $10 billion. The idea to include a portion of the aid to Ukraine in the form of a loan was another example of former President Donald Trump’s influence on Congress. Trump called for making any future aid to Ukraine a loan.

The White House tried to reach an agreement with Mr. Johnson in various ways for six months. Officials even agreed to some tougher measures at the US border when Mr. Johnson said he would not allow aid to Ukraine without border restrictions. But when Trump denounced the law, hoping to prevent Biden from winning the election, Republicans followed suit.

But when the Senate passed its own bill to provide $95 billion in emergency aid to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan without any immigration measures, it increased the pressure on Mr. Johnson.

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Canada to provide Ukraine with 129 mln Canadian dollars and more than $40 mln in aid

Canada will provide additional assistance to Ukraine to ensure “resilience and recovery” in the amount of 129 million Canadian dollars and more than $40 million, the press service of the Canadian government reported.

This was reportedly announced by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who is in Kyiv to mark the second anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

“Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is visiting Ukraine today with international partners to reaffirm our continued and unwavering support for Ukraine,” the Canadian government said in a statement on its official website on Saturday.

“The Prime Minister of Canada has announced new support for Ukraine’s efforts to build resilience and recovery,” the statement said. It provides for the allocation of 75 million Canadian dollars for demining, cyber support and intelligence support, 15 million Canadian dollars to help create the National Museum of the Holodomor Genocide of 1932 and 1933 in Kyiv, up to 39 million Canadian dollars for mental health assistance, food support and for the reconstruction and restoration of local communities.

It is also reported that more than $22 million will be allocated “in humanitarian assistance to support United Nations and Red Cross partners in providing critical assistance, including emergency medical interventions, protection services, shelter, water, sanitation and nutrition, and promoting compliance with international humanitarian law.” More than $18 million will be allocated to support various projects: “from demining to reducing threats from nuclear or radiological materials and chemical weapons, as well as combating disinformation.”

Earlier, it was reported that President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau signed a Security Agreement in Kyiv, which provides for the allocation of Canadian assistance in the amount of 3 billion Canadian dollars in 2024.


“Nova Poshta” and “Come Back Alive” Charity Foundation deliver aid to Ukrainian Air Force

Nova Group and Nova Poshta, together with the Come Back Alive charity foundation, have handed over the third batch of aid in the form of integrated communication devices (ICDs) to the Ukrainian Air Force as part of the Pack the Sky – Upgrade Air Defense project, the group’s press service said on Friday.

“This is the first project in Ukraine that comprehensively provides the air force with communications,” said Olena Plakhova, Nova’s director of reputation management.

According to the release, the exact number of KAZs transferred was not disclosed, but all of them have already been delivered to the Center Air Command and are helping to defend Kyiv, Poltava, Vinnytsia, Zhytomyr, and other cities and villages in the central part of the country.

According to the report, the KAZs are domestic trucks with high cross-country ability, provided with the necessary equipment, machinery, and secure communications to effectively perform combat missions. Their main task is to accompany air defense missile systems.

The cost of one KAZ is about UAH 7 million.

As reported, last year, to strengthen air defense within the framework of the “Pack the Sky – Upgrade Air Defense” project, from June 1 to December 26, “Come Back Alive” together with Nova Poshta raised UAH 330 million.

It is noted that thanks to the Foundation’s operational work with manufacturers and engineers, in October 2023, before the end of the collection, “Come Back Alive” and “Nova Poshta” handed over two batches of equipment to air defense units: a batch of portable communication and control kits, as well as telecommunication kits and related equipment.

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Finland proposes to increase aid to Ukraine

On Thursday, November 23, the Finnish government submitted a proposal to the parliament to amend the draft budget for 2024, among other things, the proposal contains amendments to support Ukraine, the government’s website reports.

In particular, it is proposed to increase by €95.7 million the maximum amount of authorization for the purchase of military equipment for the UKR 2023 Defense Forces for 2024-2028. The proposal will cover the cost of replacing equipment as a result of the 19th package of material assistance provided to Ukraine. The increase in allocations in 2024 will amount to EUR 20.7 million. As a result of the increase, the maximum amount of procurement authorization will be EUR 1 billion 451 million.

In addition, the government proposes to increase the capital of the Finnfund by EUR 25 million, which will be used for investments and loans focused on Ukraine.