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EU running out of budgetary capability to support Ukraine — EC president

December 18, 2014, 20:41 UTC+3 BRUSSELS
EU leaders are to discuss financial and economic assistance to the Ukrainian government but the EU had reached the upper limit of its budgetary capacity, European Commission President says
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Jean-Claude Juncker

Jean-Claude Juncker

© TASS/ЕРА/PATRICK SEEGER

BRUSSELS, December 18. /TASS/. EU is running out of budgetary capability to support Ukraine, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Thursday upon arrival at a regular EU summit.

He said the heads of state and government of the 28 member-nations would discuss financial and economic assistance to the Ukrainian government but the EU had reached the upper limit of its budgetary capacity.

"There is only a small margin of flexibility for additional financing next year. And if we fully use our margin for Ukraine, we will have nothing to address other needs that may arise over the next two years," Juncker said.

Somewhat earlier, the authorities in Kiev asked Brussels for a third program of macro-financial aid in the amount of €2 billion. European commissioner for neighborhood and enlargement policies, Johannes Hahn, said the EU was prepared to continue aid to Kiev but only in exchange for concrete results of reforms.

Earlier on Thursday, Finland’s Prime Minister Alexander Stubb said EU would not take any decisions on extra financial aid to Ukraine right now because the country had not implemented the essential structural reforms yet.

Now that the Ukrainian elections were over, it would be in the interests of the country to complete the structural reforms because no aid to it would be given otherwise, Stubb said adding that the EU summit was not a conference of donors.

The EU has extended two programs of macro-financial aid to Ukraine earlier this year in the amount of €1.8 billion but has not remitted to Kiev about €200 million of that amount. This is the last tranche of the package and the Ukrainian authorities are to receive it at the beginning of next year.

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