"They'd like to forget about war": Ukraine struggles to secure financial aid, says Finance Minister
Ukraine's Finance Minister Sergiy Marchenko says that Kyiv now needs to put in double the effort to convince its partners to provide financial support
He said this in an interview with Reuters.
According to the minister, the reason is that officials in key donor countries are paying more attention to the upcoming elections in the United States and Europe, as well as rising geopolitical tensions.
"I see a lot of tiredness, I see a lot of weakness among our partners, they would like to forget about the war but the war is still ongoing, full-scale. Ukraine is making twice the effort right now to convince our partners to provide us with support compared to the last annual meetings,” Marchenko said.
As the war with Russia continues, Ukraine is in need of financial assistance from Western countries to address a USD 43 billion budget deficit projected for 2024.
Ukraine has earmarked additional tax revenues and funds to be raised from domestic debt, but it will depend on external assistance for most of next year's spending.
"We already have some commitments, like USD 5.4 billion from the IMF programme, and we expect commitments from Japan and United Kingdom, and of course, we rely on our key partners and allies the United States and European Union," Marchenko said.
Meanwhile, the EU is working on a EUR 52.6 billion aid package for Ukraine spanning from 2024 to 2027. The Finance Minister has stated that Ukraine is seeking EUR 18 billion from this package in 2024, matching the assistance received in the current year.
Marchenko also welcomed attempts to utilize frozen Russian state assets, saying that what was previously portrayed by Western sponsors as an "achievable goal" now "sounds like a plan."
The Finance Minister emphasized that Ukraine's economy should grow by 5% in 2024. In addition, sufficient gas reserves for the winter should protect the economy from potential price increases.
Since the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion, Ukraine has received almost USD 33 billion from the G7 countries. These funds have become key to balancing the state budget and financing critical expenditures.