Ukraine needs EUR 15 bln to eliminate financial gap, EU must be able to allocate EUR 2 bln – Juncker
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has stressed the importance of allocating financial and other assistance to Ukraine.
"The Union and its Member States must continue to facilitate and support the [Ukrainian] government's work. The challenges it faces are enormous," he said in a statement released early on Wednesday.
According to Juncker, in particular, the European and global community must help Ukraine achieve peace in Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
"Weapons should be withdrawn from the line of contact. The peace process should resume," he said.
He said that the second major problem faced by Ukraine was a deep recession.
Juncker said that the EU had already provided substantial financial assistance to Ukraine in the amount of EUR 1.36 billion. In addition, another EUR 250 million will be released in the spring of 2015.
"Ukraine will need more help. The assessment of Ukraine's financing gap has been completed by the IMF. Ukraine will need $15 billion in addition to what is already planned," reads the statement.
Juncker stressed that the EU could provide assistance within its budget, and that the relevant EU budget constraints had been squeezed.
"So, we need to be able to meet Ukraine's request for EUR 2 billion, as the government is not able to do it. Member States will have to contribute – as the EU is not able to do this – to give us greater flexibility in the budget," he said.
He also noted the importance of ensuring Ukraine's energy security, stressing that the European Commission would encourage the Ukrainian government to order sufficient gas from Russia in January and February 2015.