EU ready to provide 11 bln euros of financial aid to Ukraine

The European Union is ready to provide 11 billion euros of financial support to Ukraine over the next couple of years via a series of loans and grants, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said on Wednesday.

The assistance would be delivered in coordination with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the European Investment Bank, and is in part contingent on Ukraine signing a deal with the International Monetary Fund.

"The package combined could bring an overall support of at least 11 billion euros over the next couple of years, from the EU budget and EU-based international financial institutions,» Barroso said.

The EU also plans to bring forward trade benefits that Ukraine would have received had it signed an association agreement with the EU last year, and will work on providing energy to Ukraine via «reverse flows» of gas from the EU.