EU offers 9 billion euro loan to Ukraine, prepares reconstruction -Commission

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission proposed on Wednesday a 9 billion euro ($9.5 billion) loan to Ukraine to keep the country going as it struggles to fend off the Russian invasion and wants to set up a reconstruction facility for after the war.

The money for the 9 billion loan would be borrowed by the Commission on the markets under the macro-financial assistance mechanism, backed by guarantees of EU governments.

"We are proposing to top up the significant short-term relief provided until now, with a new exceptional macro-financial assistance for Ukraine of up to 9 billion euros in 2022," Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said.

"But we also need to think about the day after for the wider reconstruction effort. The EU would and should not be the only one contributing to this effort," she said.

"That is why we propose a reconstruction platform as part of this plan jointly led by Ukraine and the Commission and bringing together EU Member States, other bilateral or international donors, international financial institutions, and other like-minded partners," she said.

($1 = 0.9507 euros)

(Reporting by Jan Strupczewski; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)

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