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The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has repurposed €50m of an existing loan to state-owned operator UkrZaliznytsya (UZ) to help it maintain train operations amid the Russian incursion.

This move was driven by urgent liquidity demands to enable UZ to continue providing essential cargo, along with passenger transportation and evacuation services.   

It is part of a €1bn commitment this year by EBRD, along with donors and partners, to help strengthen Ukraine’s economy.

EBRD president Odile Renaud-Basso said: “In partnership with the European Union, we are proud to make a contribution to Ukrainian Railways for the continued running of this critical service.

“The financing will support the movement of goods and people, including displaced persons, and help maintain Ukraine’s trade links with the outside world.”

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Initially, EBRD agreed to provide €150m to UZ for modernising and electrifying a 20,000km section of the country’s railway and associated infrastructure.

The bank is yet to hand out this loan to the railroad monopoly.

UZ CEO Olexander Kamyshin said: “This decision shows that first steps are already being taken under a new “Marshall Plan of rebuilding Ukraine. The first €50m will help Ukrainian Railways to cope with the significant damage that Russia inflicts every day.”

“We must focus not only on the resilience of our work but also on the recovery of the country’s economy. We continue to provide solutions to increase freight traffic and we have to provide opportunities for Ukrainians to return home. This loan is critical for the maintenance of our stable liquidity.”