Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
During her third visit to Kyiv amidst the ongoing conflict, Odile Renaud-Basso, the President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), informed President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, his cabinet, and the Ukrainian business community that the Bank has so far allocated €1.2 billion in financing in Ukraine for the year 2023.
“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, the largest institutional investor in Ukraine, has pledged to provide at least €3 billion for the country’s real economy between 2022 and 2023.
The Bank aims to play a significant role in future reconstruction efforts, focusing primarily on energy and food security, infrastructure restoration, trade finance, and private sector support.
In the previous year, the Bank invested €1.7 billion in Ukraine, accounting for over a tenth of its total investments across all regions.
An additional €200 million was mobilised from partner financial institutions. With the 2023 financing already at €1.2 billion, the EBRD is well on its way to fulfilling its €3 billion commitment.
During her visit, Ms Renaud-Basso held discussions with various Ukrainian officials, including Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal; First Deputy Prime Minister and Economy Minister Yuliia Svyrydenko; Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, Olga Stefanishyna; Finance Minister Serhii Marchenko; and Andriy Pyshnyy, Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine.
The EBRD President also engaged with clients, banking and business representatives, and EBRD staff in Kyiv. The Bank has increased its local presence, including through high-level visits to foster relationships with clients and authorities.
This marks Ms Renaud-Basso’s third wartime trip to Ukraine. Last October, she became the first leader of a multilateral development bank to meet President Zelenskyy in Kyiv during the conflict.
Since the onset of the war, the EBRD has escalated its involvement in Ukraine. Initially, the Bank concentrated on providing emergency liquidity. Now, it is increasingly focused on financing urgent repairs and infrastructure rebuilding, particularly those damaged by Russian aggression.
In line with this, the EBRD has allocated €182 million to improve a road section between Lviv and Rava-Ruska near the Polish border.
This is part of the European Solidarity Lanes initiative, where the EBRD is also investing €300 million to enhance road and rail access.
Another key area of focus is supporting trade and facilitating finance for Ukrainian SMEs. The Bank collaborates with 14 partner financial institutions in Ukraine to ensure a steady flow of capital to the real economy.
Through its Trade Facilitation Programme and Resilience and Livelihoods Guarantees, the EBRD has enabled Ukrainian businesses to maintain access to finance, supporting over €750 million in trade and more than €800 million in new loans to private companies in critical sectors.
The EBRD plans to sustain its robust engagement in Ukraine, consistent with current investment levels for the next two years.
At the EBRD’s 2023 Annual Meeting in Samarkand, it was acknowledged by the Bank’s Governors that additional shareholder backing would be required for the EBRD to continue its work in Ukraine. The Bank’s management and Board are in the process of drafting a proposal for a paid-in capital increase, expected to be finalised by the end of 2023.