This page was archived on October 2020.


Eastern Neighbourhood

30 - Support for Ukraine

Grade: B-
Unity 4/5
Resources 3/5
Strategy 3/5
Impact 2/5
Total 12/20

The EU gave substantial assistance to Ukrainian reform efforts, while Germany and France took the lead on peace talks

In 2015, the EU continued the strong support it has given Ukraine since Russia’s annexation of Crimea and military intervention in the Donbas. The Union remained firm in its support for the country’s territorial integrity and demands that Russia return Crimea and pull out of eastern Ukraine. The EU sanctions policy remained in place, and in July the EU linked the lifting of sanctions on Russian economic sectors to the full implementation of the Minsk II agreement.

Germany and France – rather than the EU as such – continued to play the lead role in brokering the Minsk agreement, while EU institutions and other member states were largely excluded from the peace process. Military support for Ukraine, in terms of hardware, predominantly came from the United States, but some EU members such as the UK, Poland, and Lithuania were involved in training or advising the Ukrainian defence sector.

To assist with economic and political reform, the EU committed to a multi-year €12.8 billion support package for Ukraine. Different EU states provided advice on economic reform, restructuring the energy sector, administrative and judicial reform, and decentralisation

The EU provided “macro-financial” assistance to Ukraine, intended to stabilise its financial and monetary systems. The Commission has given about €2.21 billion in loans since the crisis began in 2014, while a few EU members (Sweden, Germany, Poland, and Denmark) have provided bilateral loans. The deal between Ukraine and private creditors in August provided much-needed relief for Ukraine and helped promote macro-financial stability. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) was also helpful in revising its regulations to allow Ukraine to default on the $3 billion “Yanukovych bond” paid by Russia to the then-Ukrainian president. Moscow subsequently took Kyiv to court.

Much European assistance to Ukraine was bilateral, with Germany and Sweden having the largest programmes. Finland and Eastern European states helped Ukraine provide for the internally displaced people from the Donbas. Estonia, the Czech Republic, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, and the Netherlands made substantial contributions to free media programmes and civil society.