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EU to provide €500m for Western Balkans to tackle energy crisis

North Macedonia's Prime Minister Dimitar Kovacevski (right) shakes hand with President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen after they delivered a press conference in Skopje, on Oct 26, 2022. (ROBERT ATANASOVSKI / AFP)

SKOPJE – The European Union (EU) will provide 500 million euros ($504 million) in grants for the Western Balkan countries to tackle the energy crisis, European Commission chief said here Wednesday.

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The energy support package will help the whole Western Balkan region to invest in energy connections, energy efficiency and renewable energy, said Ursula von der Leyen at a joint press conference with North Macedonian Prime Minister Dimitar Kovachevski.

The energy support package will help the whole Western Balkan region to invest in energy connections, energy efficiency and renewable energy, said Ursula von der Leyen at a joint press conference with North Macedonian PM Dimitar Kovachevski

She said the first batch of 80 million euros ($80.6 million) out of the total 500 million euros will help North Macedonia to address the impact of high energy prices.

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Earlier in the day, von der Leyen attended the signing ceremony of an agreement between the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) and North Macedonia.

The agreement will allow Frontex to assist North Macedonia in its efforts to manage migratory flows, counter illegal immigration and tackle cross-border crime.

The European Commission chief will also visit Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro on her Western Balkan tour. 

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