Ukraine government in Brussels May 13 to meet Commission
Interim Ukraine premier Arseniy Yatsenyuk and his government will hold talks in Brussels on May 13 with the European Commission to examine further support from the 28-nation bloc, the EU executive said Monday.
The Commission “is determined to help Ukraine, and to make sure that Ukraine has all the support it needs, in the short- and long- term, to undertake the political and economic reforms that are necessary for the country,” a statement said.
The meeting between the Kiev government and the 28 members of the Commission will be followed by a joint press conference by Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso and Yatsenyuk.
The EU’s foreign ministers last month approved a one-billion-euro ($1.4-billion) package to help overcome the crisis-torn country’s deep financial problems.
In a further move to revive the flagging Ukrainian economy, they also signed off on a plan to lower customs duties on Ukrainian goods that could save the country almost 500 million euros a year.
The medium-term loan of almost one billion euros — part of a total 11 billion euros in assistance — aims to help cover Kiev’s balance-of-payments needs and comes in addition to 610 million euros of aid that has been approved but not yet disbursed.
The cut in trade tariffs for Ukrainian imports until November 1 is a one-sided measure that will not affect duties on exports to Ukraine from the EU.
It is a first stage in a free-trade pact due to be signed by Brussels with Kiev later this year which was linked to the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement that former president Viktor Yanukovych refused to sign in November, triggering the protests that led to the pro-Russian leader’s ouster.