EXCLUSIVE EU companies hit by Russia sanctions can get 400,000 euros aid

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Flags wave before an informal summit of EU leaders at the Chateau de Versailles (Versailles Palace) in Versailles, near Paris, March 10, 2022. REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier

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ROME, March 22 (Reuters) - EU companies affected by sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine can get up to 400,000 euros ($441,320) in state aid, according to a European Commission document seen by Reuters.

Companies in the agricultural, fishery and aquaculture sectors can get up to 35,000 euros in direct grants, tax and payment advantages and guarantees, the document said.

The move to loosen for now state aid rules to help thousands of companies facing disruptions to their supply chains due to the sanctions followed a precedent set two years ago when the EU executive relaxed rules to aid COVID-hit businesses.

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Companies hit by high gas, electricity prices can get aid not exceeding 30% of eligible costs up to a maximum of 2 million euros, the document said.

Companies facing a cash crunch can request a public guarantee for their loans, for up to 15% of their average total annual turnover over the last three closed accounting periods or 50% of energy costs over a year.

The guarantee is limited to six years and covers only investment or working capital loans.

Companies with liquidity issues can also apply for subsidised loans, the document said.

($1 = 0.9064 euros)

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Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte in Rome, writing by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise

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