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S. Korea signs preliminary deal to offer low-interest loans to Ukraine

Economy 11:11 May 17, 2023

By Kang Yoon-seung

SEOUL, May 17 (Yonhap) -- South Korea signed a preliminary agreement with Ukraine to offer low-interest rate loans to Ukraine under the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) project, the finance ministry said Wednesday.

Finance Minister Choo Kyung-ho signed the deal that paves the way for Asia's No. 4 economy to support Ukraine via the EDCF during his meeting with Ukrainian counterpart Yulia Svyrydenko in Seoul, according to the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

The preliminary agreement signed on Wednesday will be implemented in the future after going through domestic procedures at both countries.

During the meeting, Choo also expressed hope over the end of war and the restoration of peace in Ukraine.

South Korea wishes to cooperate with Ukraine in various areas, especially for the post-war reconstruction efforts, he added.

The two countries vowed to work closely in follow-up measures to find projects under the EDCF program.

South Korea launched the EDCF program in 1987 with the purpose of supporting economic and social infrastructure projects in developing countries.

South Korea, meanwhile, offered humanitarian aid worth US$100 million in 2022 to Ukraine.

In February, South Korea announced its plan to provide additional assistance worth $130 million.

On Tuesday, President Yoon Suk Yeol met with Ukraine's first lady Olena Zelenska at the presidential office, saying South Korea will provide active assistance to her country in close coordination with the international community.

Yoon recently signaled a shift in South Korea's policy of providing only non-lethal aid to Kyiv, saying in an interview with Reuters last month that it might be difficult to insist only on humanitarian or financial assistance if Ukraine comes under a large-scale attack on civilians.


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