KIEV, March 21 (RIA Novosti) – The European Union announced a $1.4 billion increase in its aid package to Ukraine on Friday, hours after Kiev signed the political part of its association agreement with Brussels.
“The EU decided to increase financial aid to Ukraine from 610 million euro [$842 million] to 1.61 billion euro [$2.2 billion],” Ukraine’s UNIAN agency quoted premier Arseniy Yatsenyuk as saying.
“Over two billion US dollars will be transferred to accounts of the Ukrainian government to stabilize economic situation in Ukraine. The deadline for the transfer is late April or early May,” the premier continued.
Yatsenyuk traveled to Brussels on Friday to sign the political provisions of its association agreement with the EU.
The political provisions cover issues of democracy, judicial reform and other civil society aspects.
The full accord also includes an economic section, which envisages a free trade zone between Ukraine and the EU.
Yatsenyuk said the economic part of the agreement, rejected by the previous government for fears of significant economic losses, will be signed only after the presidential election due on May 25.
The accord, years in the making, was abruptly rejected by ousted President Viktor Yanukovych in late November 2013 in favor of closer ties with Moscow and a $15 billion aid package from Russia. The move sparked nationwide protests with eventually led to the overthrow of the president and his government.
The Ukrainian government has cited significant economic losses because of shrinking trade volumes with Russia and other former Soviet countries as a reason for rejecting the deal.