BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union finance ministers agreed on Tuesday to integrate the EU’s support payments to Ukraine into its 2023 budget to make disbursements more structured and predictable, European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis said.
The move is likely to further tighten links between the 27-nation bloc and EU candidate Ukraine, which has been struggling to keep its government administration running while fending off Russia’s almost eight-month-old invasion.
Speaking to journalists after a meeting of the ministers, Dombrovskis admitted this year’s EU payments to Ukraine were hardly regular — a point of concern for Kyiv, which needs to regularly pay the salaries public workers and pensions.
The EU agreed to support Ukraine with 9 billion euros already in May, but made the first disbursement of 1 billion euros only in July.
Dombrovskis said the next tranche of 5 billion euros would be made by mid-October and the remaining 3 billion in two instalments in November and December.
“It is important to have a more predictable flow for Ukraine next year, so our intention is to integrate it into the EU budget discussions for 2023 and in this way make it a more steady flow. There was agreement on this approach among the ministers,” Dombrovskis said.
(Reporting by Jan Strupczewski; Editing by Mark Heinrich)