EXCLUSIVE World Bank Ukraine loan disbursement grows to 460 mln euros-sources
WASHINGTON, March 3 (Reuters) - A World Bank emergency cash disbursement to Ukraine will grow to 460 million euros ($509 million) with contributions from Sweden and the Netherlands, and will be submitted for board approval on Friday, two people familiar with the transaction said.
Ukraine's government could receive the loan funds almost immediately after board approval, which may be delayed until early next week, one of the sources told Reuters.
The disbursement, arranged with unusual speed for the development lender, would provide Ukraine with desperately needed cash to fund government operations as it battles a Russian invasion that has killed thousands and unleashed devastating bombardments of urban centers. read more
The Netherlands will guarantee a 95 million euro increase in the loan, while Sweden will back a 50 million euro increase, the sources said. The guarantees from the two countries will allow the World Bank to expand the disbursement to 460 million euros from a the bank's previously-announced $350 million (317 million euros) loan. read more
Reuters reported on Tuesday that the $350 million for general budget support would be added to an existing development policy loan to speed the approval process. read more
The plan has the backing of the United States and other Western democracies that hold an overwhelming majority of the bank's voting power, the sources said.
Spokespersons for the World Bank and the U.S. Treasury declined to comment on the additional contributions.
One of the sources familiar with the plan said the loan would be deemed approved if no objections were lodged by Monday, but Russia's executive director may object, requiring a board meeting to consider the plan, which may delay disbursement by a day or two.
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