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EBRD financing in Ukraine reaches €1.2 billion in 2023 as Bank’s President visits Kyiv

By Nigina Mirbabaeva

EBRD President Odile Renaud-Basso paid her third wartime visit to Kyiv to meet President Zelenskyy, government and business leaders.

  • EBRD financing in Ukraine reaches €1.2 billion so far in 2023, as the Bank’s President pays third wartime visit to Kyiv
  • Meetings with President Zelenskyy, government and business leaders
  • EBRD steps up engagement in the country and expects to sustain high level of support

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has provided €1.2 billion of financing in Ukraine so far in 2023, the Bank’s president, Odile Renaud-Basso, has told President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, his government and Ukraine’s business community during her third wartime trip to Kyiv. 

“Passing this milestone reaffirms the EBRD’s unwavering commitment to supporting your country,” Ms Renaud-Basso told Mr Zelenskyy. “Our partnership is also a testament to the resilience and potential of Ukraine’s economy, its financial and business sectors, and the courage of its entrepreneurs and people.”

The EBRD, Ukraine’s biggest institutional investor, has committed to deploy at least €3 billion of financing in Ukraine’s real economy in 2022-23 and to play a key role in future reconstruction. The EBRD’s primary focus is on maintaining energy and food security, restoring infrastructure, providing trade finance and supporting the private sector.

In 2022 the Bank deployed €1.7 billion in Ukraine – more than one-tenth of the Bank’s total investments across its regions – and mobilised a further €200 million from partner financial institutions.

With 2023 financing reaching the €1.2 billion mark, the Bank is on track to meet its €3 billion commitment very shortly.

As well as holding talks with President Zelenskyy and Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, the EBRD leader met First Deputy Prime Minister and Economy Minister Yuliia Svyrydenko; Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic integration of Ukraine, Olga Stefanishyna; Finance Minister Serhii Marchenko; and Andriy Pyshnyy, Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine.

The EBRD President also met clients and representatives of the banking and business community, as well as staff in the Bank’s office in Kyiv, where the EBRD has intensified its presence, including through high-level visits to support contacts with clients and authorities. 

This is President Renaud-Basso’s third visit to wartime Ukraine. Last October she was the first multilateral development bank leader to meet President Zelenskyy in his home capital in wartime.

The EBRD has stepped up its engagement in the country over the course of the war. Its initial crisis response focused on providing emergency liquidity to the real economy, as it sought to help clients maintain operations at the beginning of war. Now the Bank is increasingly focusing on providing finance for emergency repairs and rebuilding of infrastructure coming under Russian attack.

To this end, the Bank has focused on improving road and rail supply routes in and out of Ukraine to counter uncertainty over the main shipping routes through Black Sea ports, which have been affected by the war. The Bank provided €182 million to upgrade a section of road between Lviv in the western part of Ukraine and Rava-Ruska on the Polish border. This is in line with the European Solidarity Lanes initiative to boost road and rail access, in which the EBRD is also investing €300 million.  

Another focus has been on supporting trade and increasing access to finance for Ukrainian private companies, primarily small and medium-sized enterprises. The Bank has a network of 14 partner financial institutions (PFIs) in Ukraine that facilitate the crucial flow of finance to the real economy.

Through its Trade Facilitation Programme (TFP) and the much-needed Resilience and Livelihoods Guarantees, which partially cover the PFIs’ credit risks, the EBRD is enabling Ukrainian businesses to maintain their access to finance.

Through these instruments, and by providing senior credit lines, the Bank has since the start of the war supported more than €750 million of trade and more than €800 million of new lending to private companies operating in agribusiness and other critical sectors of the Ukrainian economy.

The EBRD expects to continue its strong engagement in the country, in line with current investment levels over the next two years.  

At the EBRD’s 2023 Annual Meeting in Samarkand, the Bank’s Governors recognised that additional shareholder support would be needed for the Bank to sustain its work in Ukraine, in wartime and in reconstruction. EBRD management and the Board are preparing a proposal for a paid-in capital increase for final decision by the end of 2023.

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