U.S. EXIM Bank, Ukraine pledge cooperation on financing, reconstruction

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FILE PHOTO: A Russian military strike in Chaplyne

By David Lawder

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The head of the U.S. Export-Import Bank and a senior Ukrainian development minister on Tuesday pledged to keep working on U.S. financing opportunities to support Ukraine’s energy security and infrastructure, the export credit agency said.

The meeting between EXIM Chair Reta Jo Lewis and Ukrainian Minister for Communities and Territories Development Oleksiy Chernyshov came exactly a year after EXIM and Ukraine signed a memorandum of understanding to identify $3 billion in EXIM-supported export financing projects for Ukraine, including road, rail and energy infrastructure.

That came nearly six months before Russia launched an invasion that has devastated Ukraine’s infrastructure, actions that Moscow calls “a special operation”. Lewis said EXIM now also stood ready to help Ukraine rebuild with U.S. exports supported by the agency.

“Russia’s actions will not deter EXIM from financing projects in Ukraine, and I echo President Biden’s sentiments when I say that EXIM stands ready to be part of Ukraine’s efforts to rebuild,” Lewis said in a statement after the meeting, also attended by Ukraine’s ambassador to the United States, Oksana Markarova.

“We will work to provide sustainable financing solutions that strengthen Ukraine’s infrastructure and prosperity,” Lewis added.

In March, less than a month after Russia’s invasion started, EXIM and its fellow export credit agencies in Britain and Canada withdrew all new export credit support for Russia and Belarus.

(Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)