COVID-19 Bulletin No 4: External Aid

Michael Emerson, Denis Cenusa, Veronika Movchan, Artem Remizov, Lali Gogoberidze, Shahla Ismayil, Benyamin Poghosyan, Andrei Yahorau

This edition of the Bulletin is dedicated to external aid provided to the Eastern Partnership six.


From the notes supplied by the country experts, the following points emerge:


  • The EU seems to be by far the biggest supplier of grant assistance to all six EaP states in the range of €60 million to Belarus and €190 for Ukraine. There will be many implementation issues for both parties: exactly what types of project, how well and rapidly executed, etc.  Substantial macro-financial assistance is also planned for Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.


  • Chinese aid is generally present through supply of protective equipment, but the financial value of the grants is small, whereas commercial purchases of the same equipment are sometimes much bigger (e.g. Moldova made purchases of €2.4 million from its budget). But very active diplomatically. 


  • Russian aid is on a small scale in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Belarus, but absent in Georgia and Ukraine. For Moldova there is an exceptional €200 million loan offer, but this is at present blocked by the Moldovan constitutional court.


  • US aid seems limited to a little over $1 million to each country, except for Ukraine which gets $9 million. 


  • Other bilateral assistance. There is a scattering of usually small aid packages under $1 million, mostly from EU member states, Turkey, Japan, South Korea and India. One exceptional case: Ukraine’s assistance to Italy early on in the crisis.


  • IFIs. The IMF, World Bank and EBRD are all active everywhere, with large loan amounts in prospect especially from the IMF with hundreds of $ millions. This will lead into major negotiations for conditional macro-financial loans and project funding over the next year as governments try to manage a return to economic normality. 


  • In relation to the size of its economy Georgia seems to be the most successful so far in mobilising diverse and large-scale assistance, although some elements may only be preliminary ideas. The Asian Development Bank conducts preliminary discussions with Georgia for possibly very large sums, but only apparently (so far as we are informed) to this Eastern Partnership country.