Channel NewsAsia

EU, Ukraine sign 1 billion euros aid deal

The European Union has signed a deal for 1 billion euros in marco-financial aid to be given to Ukraine.

BRUSSELS: The European Union has signed a deal for 1 billion euros in marco-financial aid to be given to Ukraine.

Part of the money will go to building up the country's political institutions to be transparent and democratic.

José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, said: "We are acting like never before to deliver short, medium and long term support measures worth 11 billion euros and we have identified ways to support a political, economic and financial stability of Ukraine."

355 million euros will go on a Ukrainian state building to try to build a strong and transparent democracy. The rest of the money will be pumped into the financial sector.

But with elections less than a fortnight away, the country's main focus is on how to ensure a fair democratic process despite continuing unrest in eastern regions spurred in their opinion by Moscow.

Ukrainian interim prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said: "Russia is already engaged in supporting Russian lead protesters and terrorists. We urge Russia to condemn them, to urge all these so-called protesters, or really terrorists, to leave and vacate the buildings and to do everything they can stabilise the situation in Urkaine. Russia will fail to make Ukraine a failed state."

Sunday's referendum in eastern Ukraine area of Donestk is being denounced as a farce by the west and the result is not being acknowledged.

This deal may be signed but the wrangling over troublesome Russian gas supplies will continue.

All eyes now divert to the elections in Ukraine and whether Russia will try to meddle in them. If they do, the EU says it will hit Moscow with broad economic sanctions - etching an even deeper line between the two sides.

Tweet Photos, Videos and Update on this Story to  #cna