EU cancels cooperation with Russia and Belarus, transfers funds to Ukraine and Moldova
The European Commission has decided to transfer €135 million from the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument to other Interreg programmes with Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova. The funds were originally planned for the Interreg NEXT 2021-2027 programmes with Russia and Belarus, but were cancelled due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Cohesion and Reform Commissioner Elisa Ferreira said the decision was made "to strengthen collaboration between EU regions and stakeholders with Ukrainian and Moldovan partners." The funding can be used for a variety of activities, including solidarity corridors, cross-border transport links, health services, education and research projects, social inclusion schemes, and institutional capacity building.
The European Commission said involvement in Interreg programmes brings benefits in terms of administrative capacity and experience to both countries in managing and implementing EU funds.
The decision to transfer the funds was made in line with the EU's sanctions against Russia and Belarus. The European Commission said the funds will be used to support Ukraine and Moldova "in their efforts to rebuild and strengthen their economies and societies."