Business news from Ukraine

President of European Council has said that actions to use proceeds from frozen Russian assets to benefit Ukraine will be swift

European Council President Charles Michel assures that concrete steps to use the proceeds from frozen Russian assets will be taken very quickly so that the first 1 billion euros will be allocated to Ukraine, including for military aid, as early as July 1 this year.

“We have taken a very important decision by making it possible to postpone unexpected revenues – and this is a proposal from the European Commission – and we are determined to act very quickly so that we can take some of this money to support Ukraine, including the possibility of (supporting) military equipment. This demonstrates that the 27 leaders who were around the table understand the gravity of the situation,” he said Thursday in Brussels at a news conference after the European Council meeting.

Michel is convinced that the necessary steps to make the mechanism work will be taken “very quickly”. “These proposals were presented by the Commission yesterday. There is considerable support in the European Council for this approach,” the European Council president said.

According to Michel, the Belgian presidency confirmed that it too “intends to work with all colleagues very quickly”. “This is really very important because there will be more opportunity to support Ukraine with military equipment, with what is urgently needed,” he emphasized.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, in turn, said she was pleased that the leaders had approved the use of emergency revenues from immobilized Russian assets. “This will provide funding to supply Ukraine with military equipment. We can expect to be able to raise €3 billion in 2024 and a similar amount in future years… There is strong support to use the windfall revenues from immobilized assets for military support to Ukraine. I told the leaders that if we act quickly to finalize our proposals, we can disburse 1 billion as early as July 1. The assets are in our hands and if we are quick, there will be concrete actions in the summer,” she explained.

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Ambassadors of EU member states approve 5 billion euros of military aid for Ukraine

Ambassadors of the European Union member states have approved the allocation of 5 billion euros of military aid for Ukraine under the European Peace Facility.

The decision was taken on Wednesday in Brussels on the sidelines of a meeting of the Committee of Permanent Representatives, the Belgian Presidency said on its social media page X.

“A deal! EU ambassadors agreed in principle to reform the European Peace Facility to support Ukraine with a €5 billion budget for 2024. The European Union remains determined to provide long-term support to Ukraine and to ensure that the country receives the military equipment it needs to defend itself,” the presidency said.

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Spain to prepare new military aid package for Ukraine

On Friday, February 23, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba met with Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares.

“During our meeting, I thanked Jose Manuel Albares for Spain’s support and solidarity with Ukraine. Spain will prepare a new package of military assistance to Ukraine, which will include ammunition. We also discussed President Zelenskyy’s Peace Formula and the Global Peace Summit in Switzerland,” Kuleba wrote on social network X.

“We agreed that Ukraine’s accession to the EU is on the right track,” the Foreign Minister added.


Finland to provide €190 mln in military aid to Ukraine

Finland is sending the 22nd military aid package worth up to €190 million and is preparing a long-term plan to support Ukraine, the Finnish government’s press service reports.

“Finland is sending more defense equipment to Ukraine. The President of the Republic made a decision on this issue on February 9, 2024, on the proposal of the government. This is the 22nd consignment of military aid from Finland to Ukraine,” the Finnish government said in a statement on its official website on Friday.

As noted, the total cost of the package will be approximately 190 million euros. This package includes equipment and products made in Finland, while “separate funding of 30 million euros will be allocated to support Ukraine.”

“At the national level and more broadly, we need to find new ways to support Ukraine in the long term. We are currently preparing a long-term plan to support Ukraine,” Finnish Defense Minister Antti Hakkanen said, as quoted by the press service. According to him, the Finnish industry has a lot of know-how, “and we are working to ensure that this know-how and potential can be used more effectively in supporting Ukraine. One example of this is our domestic ammunition production.”

It is also reported that Finland has decided to participate in the artillery and demining coalitions operating within the framework of the Contact Group for the Defense of Ukraine, a group that coordinates assistance to Ukraine in the field of armaments.

“We are grateful to Finland for its continued support,” the Ukrainian Defense Ministry said in a post on social media platform X.


Netherlands to allocate EUR 122 mln in military aid to Ukraine

The Netherlands intends to allocate EUR 122 million in military aid to Ukraine, which will be spent on ammunition, weapons and cybersecurity, the press service of the country’s government reported.

In particular, EUR 87 million will be allocated to Ukraine for the purchase of artillery shells. The Netherlands will also transfer EUR 25 million to the International Fund for Ukraine (IFU) for the purchase of weapons.

In addition, the Dutch government will allocate another EUR 10 million to improve Ukraine’s cybersecurity.

“The donations are the result of consultations of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group (UDCG), which includes 50 partner countries. They help Ukraine purchase equipment and resources to defend itself against Russia,” the government said in a statement.

According to Dutch Defense Minister Keesa Ollongren, “it is important to support Ukraine in the long term.”

“Now it is important to show that we are helping Ukraine. They are fighting for their country and for the values we share: self-determination, freedom, equality, human rights,” she said.


US allocates $250 mln in military aid to Ukraine

The United States has provided Ukraine with a $250 million military aid package, the Pentagon website reports.

“This announcement marks the fifty-fourth tranche of assistance that the Biden administration will provide to Ukraine from the Department of Defense’s stockpile beginning in August 2021,” the statement said.

The new aid package includes additional air defense equipment, artillery ammunition, anti-tank weapons, and other equipment to help Ukraine counter Russian aggression.

In particular, the package includes

– additional ammunition for NASAMS air defense systems;

– Stinger anti-aircraft missiles;

– air defense system components;

– additional ammunition for HIMARS;

– artillery shells of 155 mm and 105 mm caliber;

– optically tracked and wire guided tube-launched missiles (TOW);

– Javelin and AT-4 anti-tank systems;

– more than 15 million rounds of ammunition for small arms;

– explosive ammunition for clearing obstacles;

– spare parts, medical equipment, maintenance and other support equipment.