The European Development Bank is seeking loan guarantees from Ukraine

London – The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is seeking to Champion guarantees your approval loans to Ukraine from the biggest EBRD shareholders, which comprises Japan, EBRD President Odile Renaud-Basso said in an exclusive conversation interview with Nikkei.

It is trying to protect the flow of cash as well as the existence of Ukrainian companies by asking other governments to accept some of the risks.

Since its inception towards the end of the Cold War, the EBRD has been lending and investing to mostly private and public businesses throughout Central as well as Eastern Europe in support of shifts to market-based economics. Ukraine is one of the biggest beneficiaries of aid, and it was the EBRD March, just after Russia was a major target announced a 2 billion euro ($2.11 billion) aid package. The EBRD estimates that 2022’s gross domestic product (GDP) is predicted to be 30 % lower than that of the previous year.

Protection of civilians during the war demands a “focus on key public infrastructures, such as electricity networks, which are very important to equity and economic activity,” Renaud-Basso said. Support packages offered by the EBRD “focus on not just small and private businesses but also on large public sector firms accountable for infrastructure” to sustain their operations and be able for them to continue and avoid going bankrupt or becoming completely entangled in their business. “

The main concentration is on direct lending to local companies as well as institutions, and the transfer of funds to financial institutions.

However, “nobody knows how the war will evolve,” Renaud Basso stated. “We put our money into a number of projects in Ukraine which have been destroyed by conflict or their ability to repay [debt] is in doubt. … Our company has been prepared to take on a portion of the risk that we have on our balance account. We must have risk-sharing arrangements with shareholders or donors to allow us to accept this risk and take the risk together. “

By securing guarantees from the government’s shareholders, the bank hopes to prevent the creation of a fear to lend money or money to Ukrainian businesses and avoid a number of bankruptcies in both public and private institutions due to the absence of funds.

The EBRD has already discussed guaranteeing loans with the government, which belongs to the Group of Seven leading industrialized nations, and the northern European nations like Norway or Finland as per Renaud Basso. She said in her report that the assistance package which is 2 billion euros is “an initial step and based on demand and based on the capability [to be able to accept additional aid], we can boost the amount. “

Renaud-Basso also highlighted the commitment to work with the EBRD to aid in the rebuilding of infrastructure destroyed during the war between Russian troops. She said that the focus will be given to railways, power grids, and ports. The EBRD will be looking at joint reconstruction projects with Japanese financial firms as well as private firms as well as other organizations once the reconstruction phase begins.

But, Renaud Basso added that the process of reconstruction is not going to be easy until a cease-fire agreement is reached and a resolution to the war is declared. The zones where fighting is ongoing and zones where the fighting has ended aren’t always clear she said.

“The gray zone is quite large,” she stated. “You should not undertake massive infrastructure projects where you are at risk of a military attack or bombing. “

Renaud-Basso expressed a sense of prudence about the possibility of a regionally-focused recovery.

in the west region of Lviv situated far away from the fighting, the power substations, as well as the railroad infrastructure, are under attack by Russian forces. The Russians struck the area on May 4, according to the Ukrainian army. According to consensus estimates, the damages are currently to Ukraine’s infrastructure at 60 billion euros to the amount of 80 billion euros, claimed Renaud-Basso. He added that the funds are needed to sustain and restore the function of the government.

The EBRD did not offer any loans to Russia following the Russian invasion of the Crimean Peninsula in 2014. However, it makes direct investments in businesses. Renaud-Basso stated that the bank would “get the most value from these investments whenever it’s possible. ” The funds that are set aside for smaller and mid-sized Russian firms will be diverted to assist Ukraine She added.

The Charter of the EBRD’s foundation declares that it will help nations that are democratically governed along with a market economy. The bank believes that its investments and loans in Russia are insufficient considering the growing power of President Vladimir Putin.

To implement its Asian strategy, the bank plans to make a significant investment into renewable sources of energy with attention to Kazakhstan and all the Central Asian countries, it has announced. Renaud-Basso said that since the EBRD was founded in the year 2000, it has partnered with Japanese companies to develop projects of about 1 billion euros. She expressed her desire to continue to build the collaboration.

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