VILNIUS – Some EU member states are ready to increase their financial assistance to Ukraine, Lithuanian Finance Minister Gintare Skaiste said after a meeting of EU finance ministers in Brussels on Tuesday.
Ukraine is estimated to need more than 40 billion euros in aid this year to maintain schools, hospitals and other essential services. The EU plans to provide 18 billion euros, but more is likely to be needed as Russia continues to destroy Ukraine's cities and infrastructure, Skaiste said.
"The 40 billion euros a year are the minimum needs that were calculated just before Russia's intense bombings. It is very likely that more funds will be needed over the upcoming years. This is what we discussed today, and some member states voiced their commitment to provide more funds, if needed," the finance minister told Lithuania's public radio LRT in Brussels.
"Naturally, this requires further discussions, and they are starting now, because that figure will probably need some upward adjustment over the course of the year," she added.
On Tuesday, the European Commission briefed ministers on the EU and Ukraine's economic and financial situation and provided the latest information on the implementation of the aid package for Ukraine as the EU is set to provide 18 billion euros in assistance to Ukraine this year.