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Washington gives Ukraine 220m dollars in aid for reform efforts

U.S. aid to Ukraine since 2014 has totaled 1.3bn dollars.

The White House says it will give Ukraine 220m dollars in new aid this year to support Kyiv's economic, political, and energy reform efforts, the White House press service reported on June 15 after a meeting of Ukrainian Prime Minister with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden The White House said the aid will help Ukraine "strengthen democratic institutions and the rule of law, reinforce the foundations for sustainable economic growth, and respond to humanitarian needs." 

Among the items on Hroysman's "ambitious reform agenda," the White House said, is an acceleration of customs reform, an ongoing fight against corruption through reform of the justice sector, and implementation of constitutional amendments adopted by Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada on June 2.

Hroysman intends to increase "support for independent media and civil society," it said, and extend decentralization across Ukraine to improve the government's delivery of services and increase citizen engagement.

Hroysman has also committed to energy reforms, including establishing competitive gas and electricity markets in line with European Union standards, diversifying sources of energy away from Russia, and privatization of state energy agencies.

The White House said that on June 9 the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation approved up to 62.5m dollars in financial support for two private equity funds that will invest in Ukraine across a number of sectors, including agribusiness, health care, infrastructure, retail, consumer goods, and real estate. 

These two investments are in addition to previous corporation financial commitments to Ukraine totaling 185m, according to the White House.

U.S. aid to Ukraine since 2014 has totaled 1.3bn dollars, it said, including 112m dollars in humanitarian assistance for civilians affected by the conflict with Russia-backed separatists in the east. 

The U.S. government has also provided 2bn dollars in loan guarantees for Ukraine, and on June 3 approved an agreement allowing Ukraine to use a third of a 1bn guarantee in coming months.

"These loan guarantees help Ukraine stabilize its economy and protect the most vulnerable households from the impact of needed economic adjustment," the White House said.