BRUSSELS – European Union finance ministers approved one billion euros in financial help to Ukraine on Monday, calling it the first installment of a nine-billion-euro bailout package agreed by European leaders in May.
“This will provide Ukraine with the finances it requires to meet immediate demands and maintain essential infrastructure,” said Zbynek Stanjura, finance minister of the Czech Republic, which now holds the rotating presidency of the EU.
According to EU diplomats, the remaining nine billion euros ($9 billion) is still being held up because some member states disagree on whether a country at war should sign up to long-term financing.
“I wish the amount was higher,” said one EU diplomat, adding that talks among member states to release further funding for Kyiv were “on track.”
The one billion euros released on Tuesday are in addition to the 1.2 billion euros disbursed by the European Union earlier this year, bringing the bloc’s total financial help to Ukraine since the February 24 invasion to 2.2 billion euros.
Ukraine has stated that its budget deficit is as high as five billion euros per month, and that the daily operation of the government and public services is dependent on urgent international aid.
Allies have hastened to assist Ukraine, with the G7 and others pledging $29.6 billion in additional funding for Kyiv, according to the US Treasury Department.
The US delivered $1.3 billion to Ukraine last month as part of the initial $7.5 billion committed to Kyiv by the Biden administration in May.