EBRD President reaffirms strategic commitment to Ukraine on visit to Kyiv

EBRD - European Bank of reconstruction and development - 4/24/2023 1:10:00 PM

The President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Odile Renaud-Basso, has visited Kyiv to reaffirm to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, his government and Ukraine's business community the EBRD's unwavering support for the Ukrainian real economy and private sector, both in wartime and during a future reconstruction.

The EBRD, Ukraine's biggest institutional investor, has committed to invest euros3 billion in Ukraine in 2022-23 and to play a key role in reconstruction when the time is right. The EBRD's primary focus in Ukraine is on maintaining energy and food security, restoring rail infrastructure, providing trade finance and supporting the private sector.

In 2022, the Bank deployed euros1.7 billion in Ukraine - totalling more than one tenth of the Bank's total investments - and mobilised a further euros200 million from partner financial institutions. The only institution to work at this scale, in a unique demonstration of support and solidarity for the Ukrainian people, the EBRD agreed to provide finance, half of which at its own risk. Half of its finance has come with generous support from donors and guarantors from G7, European Union, and other countries.

"We admire the courage and determination of the Ukrainian people and will do all in our power to maintain and expand our support to prepare for the reconstruction work to come. This comes with investments and with continued support for the reform agenda" said President Renaud-Basso, who was accompanied on her trip by the EBRD's Vice President, Banking, Alain Pilloux and the Managing Director for Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, Matteo Patrone.

As well as holding talks with President Zelenskyy and Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, the EBRD leader met Andriy Pyshnyy, Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine; Finance Minister Serhii Marchenko; Oleksandr Kubrakov, Deputy Prime Minister for the Restoration of Ukraine and Minister for Communities, Territories and Infrastructure Development; First Deputy Prime Minister and Economy Minister Yuliia Svyrydenko; and Vitali Klitschko, Mayor of Kyiv.

In the business community, the EBRD President met bank leaders and clients.

This is President Renaud-Basso's second 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 a unique role to play in this crisis. After more than 30 years of promoting economic transition in Ukraine, the Bank's emergency response to the war focuses on the real economy - while other international financial institutions provide budget support to the Ukrainian government. EBRD funding is also used to help refugees in neighbouring countries and to assist the municipalities hosting them.

Last year, EBRD support for Ukraine included the provision of euros150 million of emergency liquidity to Ukrainian Railways, a total of euros520 million to the electricity company Ukrenergo, and a euros500 million package for the gas company Naftogaz. By keeping the lights and heating on and the train running, this finance provided assistance to Ukraine's businesses and helped maintain livelihoods, thanks to the support of Canada, the European Union, France, Germany, Norway, The Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

The EBRD is currently expanding its support for municipal authorities around the country, lending the city of Lviv in western Ukraine euros25 million in December and providing Khmelnytskyi, a city that became a home to thousands of displaced people, with euros10.6 million to improve its public transport system by renewing its trolleybus fleet. The Bank is also working with the Ukrainian Railways and private investors on rehabilitating transport infrastructure in the west of the country, to improve connectivity with the European Union.

On Tuesday, on an earlier leg in Warsaw of President Renaud-Basso's travels in central and eastern Europe, the EBRD signed an agreement to lend euros42 million to Cersanit SA, a leading Polish ceramic tile and bathroom equipment manufacturer with a large operation in Ukraine, which is expected to play an important role in the reconstruction of infrastructure damaged by war.