Ukraine’s Natalie Jaresko pays tribute to EBRD, signs € 65 million energy loan
Ukraine’s finance minister Natalie Jaresko has paid special tribute to the EBRD and expressed her gratitude for its strong role in the international community’s response to the needs of the Ukrainian economy.
Ukraine Finance Minister outlines Path to Stability
Speaking during a visit to EBRD headquarters in London on Tuesday, Ms Jaresko said the EBRD had been very responsive and supportive.
The minister, who is also Ukraine’s EBRD Governor, praised the many contributions the EBRD had made in Ukraine, from stepping up investment in 2014 to €1.2 billion to its role in the setting up of the business ombudsman institution, as part of the fight against corruption.
“I want to express gratitude, because the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is for us one of the most important international credit partners, partners who support our country financially,” she said.
Minister Jaresko did not play down the enormous challenges that Ukraine now faced, including the likelihood of another 5-1/2 per cent contraction in its economy this year, combined with an inflation rate of 30 per cent and a 70 per cent plunge in the value of the Ukrainian currency.
However, she said the administration that she represented was determined to succeed and outlined the concrete measures it was taking to foster economic recovery.
“For now, the first step for Ukraine is to stabilise the macroeconomic situation, the financial and banking system,” she said, speaking in Ukrainian. “This first step has been taken, together with the IMF and our other partners, through replenishing the National Bank’s reserves and strengthening the fiscal situation.”
“The second step is the medium-term perspective. In 2016, we foresee the return to growth. The real economy must work, must create new jobs, there needs to be growth of salaries and growth in the economy.”
”We are working on this – through deregulation, through the liberalisation of the economy, through reforming of the state enterprises, through taxation policy, through the reforms of the tax administration; in other words through all we can do to improve the business environment.
During her visit to the EBRD Ms Jaresko also signed a loan agreement that will improve the security of electricity supply, increase energy efficiency, meet growing demand for power in the Kiev and tackle the problem of shortages and blackouts.
The EBRD is allocating €65 million to the Ukrainian national transmission network operator, Ukrenergo, for the construction of a 330kV Zahidna substation as well as the construction of two 330kV lines, which will connect the new substation to the grid.
“Today’s project is a very specific project which we view as very big support to our energy efficiency and to our energy sector,” she said. “This makes us certain that the next winter will be better than the last winter was, thanks to the specific support and specific credit resources provided to us by the EBRD.”
“We are grateful and we see it as one of the steps which the EBRD makes every day and every year in supporting Ukraine.”