E.U. To Offer Ukraine $15 Billion Aid Package

Aid – diplomacy through softer means than war.

World

The European Union is ready to offer a $15-billion aid package to Ukraine over the next two years, a move that could give the West more leverage in the economically-strapped country as it matches Russia’s own, original aid offer.

The president of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, said Wednesday that the offer includes 1.6 billion euros ($2.2 billion) in loans and 1.4 billion euros in grants, as well as 3 billion euro in credit from the European Investment Bank. That sum is in addition to a $1-billion loan guarantee pledged to Ukraine by Secretary of State John Kerry Tuesday, reports the New York Times.

Ukraine’s interim government has said it will need $35 billion in international assistance over the next two years.

Mass protests began in Ukraine in November last year, after now-deposed President Viktor Yanukovych turned to the Kremlin for financial aid. The International Monetary Fund…

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