The European Parliament approves a macro-financial loan of 1.2 billion euros to help Ukraine

The European Parliament has approved a macro-financial loan of €1.2 billion to help Ukraine cover its external financing needs in 2022.

MEPs backed the resolution under urgent procedure on Monday to speed up the European Commission’s new package, which was proposed by the European Commission in January amid looming fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine .

A majority of MEPs supported an emergency procedure for the package, with 598 votes for, 52 against and 43 abstentions.

Irish MEPs from Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, Green and Sinn Féin voted in favour, while Independent MEPs Daly and Wallace voted against and Independent MEP Flanagan abstained.

The urgency procedure would allow the package to be given priority over other items on Parliament’s agenda.

A vote on the proposal itself took place on Wednesday afternoon in Strasbourg and the result was announced in the evening.

It will be paid in two instalments.

Promote stability

Half of the €1.2 billion loan can be disbursed immediately to support stability in Ukraine, if certain preconditions are met.

The loan serves as “rapid support in an acute crisis situation and to build the country’s resilience,” the proposal says.

External funding for Ukraine has dried up due to the Russian military threat and the worsening economic situation following the Covid-19 pandemic.

For the money to be disbursed, the country must show progress in implementing a macroeconomic program put in place by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). MEPs point out that “effective democratic mechanisms, including a multi-party parliamentary system, and the rule of law, and guaranteeing respect for human rights” are also prerequisites for the disbursement.

Green MEP Grace O’Sullivan told the Irish Times that MEPs voted this week in favor of closer EU cooperation with Ukraine in light of fears of a possible invasion Russian.

Adding to these fears, the people of Ukraine have “seen a significant impact on their own economy amid ongoing attempts to introduce economic reforms and fight corruption,” she said. “It’s part of a broader diplomatic, rather than military, response to the crisis.”

Ms O’Sullivan said she hoped to see a focus on de-escalation and cooperation in the coming days, as well as the full implementation of the Minsk agreement.

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