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European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR)
News article20 March 2024Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations2 min read

Press statement by President von der Leyen with Ukrainian Prime Minister Shmyhal


Prime Minister Shmyhal, dear Denys,

It is my great pleasure to welcome you here today again. We are marking two important achievements. The first is the reason for your visit to the Commission: You are delivering the Ukraine Plan. And this indeed is a pivotal moment in our cooperation. Your success in delivering the Plan today is all the more impressive, since it is only 19 days ago that the Ukraine Facility entered into force. The Plan maps out how Ukraine can get back to rapid growth and start to recover the losses that the war has caused. Moreover, it is based on the same approach we have developed within the European Union. In other words: It combines reforms and investments. This will boost growth and at the same time help Ukraine move closer to our Union. The dedication and commitment of the Ukrainian government is truly remarkable, especially as you are still facing a brutal Russian war of aggression. Your teams worked closely with the Commission and drew on the significant expertise of the World Bank, IMF and G7.

We have discussed this Plan many times as it was being developed. It will now be assessed carefully by my services. But I am very confident that we will soon be able to make a positive recommendation to the Council to endorse the Plan.  

The EUR 50 billion Ukraine Facility underpinned by the Plan is by far the largest support programme for Ukraine. It is three times bigger than the IMF programme, for example. The Multidonor Coordination Platform that we have built played a very useful role in its elaboration. And the Plan will form a key reference point for other donors, as they develop their own support programmes. That is crucial for Ukraine to ensure the coherence of all support efforts.

The second reason for our meeting today is that the Commission has just paid to Ukraine a first tranche of EUR 4.5 billion from the Facility. It is the very first time that there is a disbursement now. This payment, in the form of a bridge financing, is crucial to help you maintain the functioning of the state in this very difficult moment. In April, once Ukraine fulfils the conditions we agreed upon, we will make a second disbursement of the bridge financing of EUR 1.5 billion.

So today is a good day for Ukraine. Funds are flowing to meet urgent needs. And the country has laid a solid foundation for the EU's support, right up until the end of 2027.