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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

EBRD Signs Trade Deal in Ukraine

KIEV, Ukraine - The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development signed a deal Wednesday offering $9 million in guarantees for four large Ukrainian banks to help them handle international trade.

"It is very important to support Ukraine's international and intra-regional trade," said EBRD First Vice President Charles Frank, according to a statement. "The facility will assist the participating banks in strengthening their relationships with international banks."

The four banks are the Aval Post Pension Bank, First Ukrainian International Bank, the Forum Commercial Bank, and the Nadra Commercial Bank.

Frank also announced that the EBRD was planning to open a new bank in Ukraine that will provide so-called "micro-lending" for small businesses, according to Interfax.

The EBRD delegation met with President Leonid Kuchma, Prime Minister Viktor Yushchenko and Fuel and Energy Minister Serhiy Yermilov, and was to meet with Finance Minister Ihor Mitiukov.

Frank discussed reforms of Ukraine's ailing energy sector, and the construction of two nuclear reactors to compensate for electricity lost with last month's closure of the Chernobyl nuclear plant.

Chernobyl was site of world's worst nuclear disaster in 1986, when its No. 4 reactor exploded. Following international pressure, Ukraine closed down the plant in exchange for promises of international aid.

Frank said that the EBRD may decide to finance the new reactor construction if the Paris Club of creditor nations agrees to restructure some of Ukraine's foreign debt, according to Interfax. The government is to start talks with the Paris Club later in January.