EU allocates funds meant for Russia-Belarus to Ukraine and Moldova
A considerable amount of EU funds previously destined for Russia and Belarus will now be allocated to Ukraine and Moldova, decided the EU Commission. Specifically, 135 million euros from the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument, planned initially for “Interreg programmes in Russia and Belarus between 2021-2027,” will now be directed to similar projects in Ukraine-Moldova aiming to facilitate Solidarity Lanes and cross-border transport links, among other things.
Additionally, Brussels decided that other countries, including Finland, Latvia, Poland and Estonia, meant to benefit from funding programmes directed to Russia and Belarus, will be included in other Interreg programmes. Elisa Ferreira, Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, commented on the news, saying that she is very content with the fact that the funds will now benefit the EU’s programmes with Ukraine and Moldova.
The idea of shifting funds meant for Russia and Belarus to other countries appeared quite early after the start of the war in Ukraine–almost simultaneously with the first sanction packages. However, the final decision was made a year and a half later. In any case, it is very positive that the EU secured additional funds to help develop transport links between Western Europe, Ukraine and Moldova. The decision came at an especially critical time when money is short and in high demand to ensure efficient connectivity, also concerning Ukrainian exports.