.Ukraine, Russia sign grain export deal

Ukraine  has accused Germany and other EU states of blocking funds the bloc previously approved for Kiev as it faces a financial crisis caused by Russia’s invasion.

“We are expecting eight billion euros (8.2 billion dollars), but unfortunately certain EU states, including Germany, are blocking verification of this issue,” Ihor Zhovkva, deputy chief of staff in the presidential office said.

Zhovkva said Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky was conducting “active talks” on the matter.

The deputy chief of staff said Kiev had received one billion euros of the nine billion euros in financial aid pledged by the EU in May.

The European Commission said  guarantees from member states might  be needed for the remaining funds, as securing them through the EU budget was  not possible due to a lack of resources.

A spokesman for Germany’s Ministry of Finance rejected Zhovkva’s account, saying Berlin was not obstructing any aid to Ukraine.

“After the G7 meeting at Petersberg, Germany disbursed one billion euros to Ukraine,” he said.

 “Germany will also participate in further aid. The German government is engaged in dialogue with its European partners and the European Commission on this,” he said.

“Several international ratings agencies downgraded Ukraine’s credit rating in July.

 “And the largest state-owned company, Naftogaz, failed to service outstanding foreign debts a week ago.

“It said it will default on servicing several Eurobonds as the Ukrainian government prioritises financing the military, pensions and other key needs.

“Ukraine’s need for additional financing has been estimated by the presidential office at almost 50 billion euros for 2023.”

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