The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine has signed a framework agreement with the French government on loan financing of projects to modernize water supply systems in Kyiv and Luhansk region in the amount of EUR 70 million each.
According to the draft decree of the Cabinet of Ministers on the signing of a framework agreement, a concessional treasury loan in the amount of EUR 70 million will be directed to the reconstruction of water supply facilities of the Dnipro and Desnianska waterworks. The project will improve the quality of water for a quarter of the capital’s population, says the government’s press service.
The second loan in the amount of EUR 70 million will finance a project to reconstruct the infrastructure for the production and distribution of drinking water at Popasna District Vodokanal utility company. As a result of modernization, it is planned to achieve a volume of water flow of 135,000 cubic meters per day, which will provide drinking water for more than 20 settlements.
Under the terms of the agreement, the loan is provided for 40 years, including a 15-year grace period. The loan rate is 0.0092% per annum. The condition for the provision of funds is the purchase of goods and services from France in the amount of at least 70% of the loan amount for the implementation of the project.
In addition, in order to obtain a loan, contracts between French suppliers and the project implementer must be accepted for execution by the end of 2022, and the loan must be selected by the end of 2026.
The framework agreement signed on Thursday by the governments of Ukraine and France, providing for the supply of 370 rescue vehicles-car lifters for the State Emergency Service of Ukraine in the amount of up to EUR 300 million, provides for the provision of financing by the French side in the amount of EUR 255 million (85% of the contract amount). According to the text of the framework agreement at the disposal of the Interfax-Ukraine agency, the support will consist of a treasury loan of up to EUR 100 million provided by the French government represented by Natixis, and a bank loan of up to EUR 155 million, which will be provided by a bank or consortium banks from the EU. Bpifrans Assurance Export will act as a guarantor for it.
The agent bank will be Ukreximbank (Kyiv), the equipment supplier will be the French company Desautel SAS.
According to the agreement, financial support is provided for the purchase of goods and services from France, and also provides for the purchase of Ukrainian or foreign goods for the implementation of the contract in the amount of up to 50% of the amount of financial support.
The maturity of treasury and bank loans is no more than 10 years.
The terms of the agreement stipulate that in order to receive financing through a loan, the contract must be accepted for implementation no later than December 31, 2023, and the loan must be selected by the end of 2028.
The supply of goods and services from French suppliers, as well as the import and use of related goods for their production will be subject to VAT, other taxes and duties at a “zero” rate.
As reported, within the framework of the contract, the production of firefighting car lifts to provide extinguishing fires and rescue people from high-rise buildings will be partially concentrated in Ukraine. The first samples will be made in France.
According to Mykola Chechetkin, chairman of the State Emergency Service, at the present time, the service units have only 290 units of high-altitude lifts at their disposal, of which 260 have worked out their resource.
During the visit of French Finance and Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire to Kyiv on Thursday, four strategic intergovernmental agreements will be signed totaling EUR 1.3 billion.
“Indeed, during my visit, France will sign four strategic intergovernmental agreements with Ukraine for a total of EUR 1.3 billion. This is very significant! And I want to emphasize one key point: these projects will help improve the living conditions of Ukrainians. We are talking about drinking water, mobility, security and civil protection,” Le Maire said in an exclusive interview with Interfax-Ukraine.
He said that he was happy to come to Kyiv, meet with the Ukrainian authorities and have the opportunity to strengthen economic ties between the two countries.
“France and Ukraine have a lot in common: we are both industrial countries, we are countries with an important part of agriculture, we are European countries fully committed to strengthening Europe’s place in the international arena,” the minister said.
Le Maire also said that in 2020, the total trade volume between France and Ukraine reached EUR 1.6 billion.
“Our economic relationship is very dynamic and we are on the right track. I want to give you one single figure: in 2020, the total trade volume between France and Ukraine reached EUR 1.6 billion – a very important amount that remains stable despite the COVID-19 recession. Now we want to strengthen and accelerate economic cooperation between our two countries. This is the purpose of my visit to Kyiv,” he said.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky offered French President Emmanuel Macron to sign a declaration of support for Ukraine’s accession to the European Union.
“We have made a declaration that we conclude with partner countries, member states of the European Union, in which this or that country signs a declaration with us, indicating its support of Ukraine in striving to be a member of the European Union. Frankly speaking, several countries have already signed this declaration. There are countries that are now reviewing this declaration. I told the details of this declaration. I suggested that France also support Ukraine. I believe that President Macron will get acquainted with this declaration and give his answer,” Zelensky said at a briefing on the results talks with French President Macron in Paris on Friday.
Zelensky also said the Declaration on the European Perspective of Ukraine is an initiative of our state, which “does not want to wait until everything is done for us.”
“We are very proactive in Ukraine. We do not wait for everything to be done for us. We ourselves are taking concrete steps,” Zelensky said.
As reported, on March 18, a meeting of the presidents of Ukraine and Lithuania took place, during which they signed a Declaration on the European perspective of Ukraine.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky will visit France on Friday, April 16, where he is to meet with President Emmanuel Macron, Le Figaro reported. It is noted that the visit is associated with an increase in tension in Ukraine due to the military buildup of the Russian Federation on its borders. The presidents of the two countries will meet during a working lunch at the Elysee Palace.
As reported, Zelensky may meet with French President Emmanuel Macron to discuss escalation in Donbas and reforms in Ukraine.
“The main purpose of the visit is to meet with Macron tête-à-tête,” French Ambassador to Ukraine Etienne de Poncins said in an interview with KyivPost.
Ukraine together with France will produce high-rise elevators for fire trucks, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said during the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the State Emergency Service of Ukraine and the French company Echelles Riffaud. According to the press service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine on Tuesday, the document was signed by the head of the State Emergency Service Mykola Chechotkin, General Director of Echelles Riffaud Benjamin Coustillier and export director of the company Mark Larov.
According to Avakov, a critical situation has developed in the fire and rescue units with modern technical means to extinguish fires and rescue people from high-rise buildings. The minister said that the existing equipment has been in operation for more than 40 years, and 90% of it have already worked out all the established terms of operation.
“Unfortunately, Ukraine has not produced and does not produce such equipment. Therefore, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, together with French partners, agreed on the production of modern firefighting equipment for Ukrainian rescuers,” the Minister of Internal Affairs said.
In particular, we are talking about the production of complexes with lifts up to 33 and 42 meters.
“However, an important aspect of bilateral cooperation is the condition when French-made cars will be assembled at Ukrainian factories. In addition, our specialists will be trained by their French colleagues,” the minister said.