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Reason for delay in EU aid to Ukraine revealed by media — RT World News

EU withheld pledged funds due to concerns over its own economy, Bloomberg reports

Funds pledged to Ukraine by the EU have been delayed due to concerns over the bloc’s economic problems and infighting in Brussels, Bloomberg reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the talks.

In March, the European Commission offered a €9 billion ($9 billion) loan to Ukraine that would be backed by guarantees from EU member governments. However, so far the bloc has only managed to agree on an initial tranche of €1 billion, which was unveiled on Tuesday.

According to Bloomberg, the blockage is because Germany tried to convince the EU to provide non-reimbursable grants through the International Monetary Fund rather than loans to Kyiv.

A German official reportedly said Berlin did not want to bear the brunt of the Ukrainian loan guarantee and asked other members to contribute more.

Separately, a €1.5 billion loan from the European Investment Bank has reportedly been blocked within the EU as more collateral is needed to secure the sum.

EU set to unveil new anti-Russian sanctions - Reuters

The news comes as the EU grapples with runaway inflation. Germany is particularly concerned that sanctions and tensions with Russia could force Moscow to cut off the flow of Russian gas, which could cripple the German economy.

The German government has repeatedly warned that such a scenario would increase unemployment and poverty. Fuel shortages would be “catastrophic” for certain industries, Economy Minister Robert Habeck told Der Spiegel magazine last month.

On Friday, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban raised a similar point, saying that by imposing sanctions “The European economy has shot itself in the lungs and is at the end of its tether.”

According to Bloomberg, around a third of the 27 member states warned at a meeting of EU finance ministers on Tuesday that additional support was needed to “the most vulnerable groups inside the bloc affected by the ongoing crisis to avoid disaffection with Kyiv.”

An EU official reportedly said Paolo Gentiloni, the bloc’s economy commissioner, told his colleagues in a closed-door meeting that national governments must “avoiding the risk of fatigue among Europeans.”

Western countries, including EU countries, imposed sweeping sanctions on Russia after troops were sent to Ukraine in late February. Last month, the Group of Seven (G7), which includes the EU’s economic powerhouse Germany, pledged to support Kyiv “as long as it takes”.

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