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EU Brexit Negotiator Worried About Ukraine Funding

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier
The EU's chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier

BRUSSELS -- The European Union's chief Brexit negotiator has expressed concern that Britain might not honor long-term EU loans to Ukraine after it leaves the 28-member union.

Speaking on August 31 after the third round of negotiations on Britain's exit from the EU, Michel Barnier said that Britain "recognized" that it has financial obligations toward the EU after it leaves, which is due to occur at the end of March 2019.

But he said he learned this week that British payments will be limited to “their last payment to the EU budget before departure."

The EU has "joint obligations toward third countries -- for example, we have guaranteed long-term loans to Ukraine together,” Barnier said. "After this week, it is clear that the U.K. doesn't feel legally obliged to honor these obligations after departure.”

The EU has so far pledged a total 12.3 billion euros ($14.6 billion) in loans to Ukraine. Of that, 3.4 billion euros has come in the shape of macro-financial assistance, out of which 2.2 billion euros has already been provided.

A total of 8.9 billion euros has been pledged by the EU's financial institutions, the European Investment Bank (EIB), and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

Britain contributes about 14 percent of the EU budget.

With reporting by RFE/RL's Rikard Jozwiak in Brussels
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