EBRD Ready to Invest 500-600 Million Euros in Ukraine in 2005: President

KIEV, Ukraine -- The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is prepared to invest between 500 and 600 million euros (645.7-774.6 million dollars) in Ukraine this year to help improve transportation and nuclear safety, EBRD president Jean Lemierre said.

Lemierre said he had raised the investment possibility in discussions with Ukrainian officials.

"I've mentioned the possibility of investment... between 500 and 600 million euros this year in Ukraine," he said at a news conference in Kiev.

The investment, which requires the approval of the Ukrainian parliament, would be aimed at the "road sector, railways and nuclear safety".

Several projects in these areas have already been prepared by the Ukrainian government, but still await ratification by the parliament, he said.

"These projets are very important because they (funds) can be disbursed very quickly" and the country would see "quick improvements in crucial sectors".

Other projects are being planned for 2005, notably for new high-tension electricity lines, port infrastructure and the development of public services, he added.

The EBRD is the biggest investor in Ukraine and is working with the government on the privatization of the telecommunications group Ukrtelecom and a part of the banking sector.