On November 6, in the Lithuanian Seimas, ambassadors of the countries participating in the Eastern Partnership Program presented the so-called “Marshall Plan” – the EU's financial assistance plan to help Ukraine.
According to the plan, politicians are offering to allocate 50 billion euros to Ukraine for the promotion of small and medium-sized businesses. This would begin in 2018 and extend over a period of ten years.
“I would like to emphasize that this was first Lithuania’s plan to help Ukraine from 2017-2020, and then it became a European plan, again, thanks to the efforts of Lithuania. This plan is of particular importance for Ukraine, and not just for Ukraine, because what is happening in Ukraine is important not only for our citizens, but for the whole continent, the entire democratic world,” said the ambassador of Ukraine in Lithuania Volodymyr Yatsenkivskyi in the Seimas to reporters.
Lithuanian diplomats and politicians are trying to ensure that the “new Marshall Plan” for Ukraine will be supported at the November summit of the Eastern Partnership of the European Union. Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius stressed that it is necessary to provide assistance to Ukraine as soon as possible, since the situation in the country is dire, and time is of the essence.
“It is very important to us that the assistance sent to Ukraine is effectively used. Then donors will willingly allocate funds for this, and they will not be frightened off by the problems associated with bureaucracy and corruption that still exist. At the same time, we see that time is not on our side, because the people are tired. They are tired from war, bureaucracy, and deprivation,” the foreign minister said to reporters.
European Commissioner Johannes Hahn received a draft of the “Marshall Plan” for Ukraine. He believes that the European Commission already has the necessary tools for its implementation, but is skeptical about the need for its approval.