Ukraine government donor letter no grounds for panic, says Ukrinform

KYIV (Reuters) – A letter from Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal requesting an emergency meeting with international donors and seen by Bloomberg news agency was part of “systemic work” with the country’s partners, the state-run Ukrinform news agency quoted a senior source as saying late on Thursday.

The country’s economy depends heavily on financial support from partners and Kyiv has been concerned whether it will continue as new aid packages have been recently blocked both in the European Union and in the United States.

Bloomberg reported earlier on Thursday that Shmyhal had sent a letter this month to an international group coordinating funds for Ukraine saying it was “imperative that we receive sufficient, prompt, and predictable external financing, beginning January 2024.”

The letter also asked donors to meet in January ahead of a scheduled meeting the following month, the report said.

“We explain: You should not panic. This is part of systemic work with partners,” Ukrinform said in a post on Telegram linking to its coverage of Bloomberg’s report.

“This was reported to Ukrinform by a high-ranking source familiar with the situation, commenting on the report by Bloomberg,” Ukrinform’s Telegram post added.

On its website, Ukrinform quoted the unnamed source as saying the letter was sent to participants in the Multi-agency Donor Coordination Platform, which coordinates funds for Ukraine, after it met on Dec. 19 and “determined that budget support was to be the main direction” of its work in 2024.

“This is part of systemic work with partners,” Ukrinform quoted the source as saying. The platform’s steering committee is made up of senior officials from Ukraine, G7 countries and the EU.

Shmyhal said on Dec. 21 that Ukraine had received the last 1.5 billion euro ($1.65 billion) tranche from the 18 billion package expected from the European Union for 2023.

For 2024, Ukraine hopes to receive 18.5 billion euros from the EU and more than $8 billion from a U.S. package that also contains vital military assistance. Voting on both packages was moved to the beginning of the next year.

(Reporting by Elaine Monaghan in Washington and Oleksandr Kozhukhar in Kyiv; Writing by Elaine Monaghan; Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)