15 Dec 2022 13:24

France to provide guarantees to support EBRD loans to Ukrzaliznytsia and Naftogaz of Ukraine

MOSCOW. Dec 15 (Interfax) - France is providing guarantees worth 99.4 million euros to support a European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) loan of 150 million euros to JSC Ukrzaliznytsia (Ukrainian Railways) and an EBRD loan of 300 million euros to Naftogaz of Ukraine.

"France is providing a guarantee worth 49.4 million euros to support an EBRD loan of 150 million euros to Ukrzaliznytsia (UZ), Ukraine's railway company. [...] In parallel, France is providing a 50-million-euro guarantee to facilitate an EBRD loan of 300 million euros to Ukrainian state-owned gas company Naftogaz," Ukrainian media said, citing an EBRD press release issued on Wednesday.

The loan that will be provided to Ukrzaliznytsia will help finance critical operating expenses to ensure stable rail cargo and passenger transportation, the bank said.

The French guarantee complements another guarantee for the Ukrainian railway company provided by the European Union through its European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD), it said.

The bank is currently working closely with Ukrzaliznytsia on a new sovereign guaranteed loan of up to 200 million euros to cover critical capital expenditure needed to improve railway connectivity with the EU, it said.

The financing for Naftogaz will help it purchase gas and guarantee supply to Ukrainian customers, and produce electricity over the winter and beyond, the EBRD said.

EBRD President Odile Renaud-Basso, in turn said that like other G7 countries, France is providing crucial support to the bank's emergency operations in Ukraine.

As reported, the EBRD had provided more than 1 billion euros in assistance to Ukraine and had mobilized over 1.4 billion euros in donor support by the end of November 2022.

The EBRD remains committed to its pledge to invest 3 billion euros in Ukraine in 2022-2023, which is 50% more than before the crisis, Renaud-Basso said in an interview with Ukrainian media.

Naftogaz CEO Alexei Chernyshov said that Ukraine needs around 2.6 billion cubic meters of additional gas for the heating season that may be used to generate electricity and heat.