Countries allied with Ukraine want to make Russia pay for reconstruction after invasion

Russia must pay for the reconstruction of Ukraine, leaders considered this Wednesday American, European and British meeting in London, at an international conference that garnered pledges of billions of dollars to boost the war-torn Ukrainian economy.

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“Let’s be clear: Russia is the cause of the destruction of Ukraine. And Russia will end up assuming the cost of reconstruction,” launched the US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinkenwhen announcing additional aid from his country, for 1,300 million dollars, destined mainly for essential infrastructures.

“As long as Russia continues to destroy, we will be there to help Ukraine rebuild: rebuild lives, rebuild their country, rebuild their future,” stressed the head of US diplomacy.

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Also the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, stated that “the aggressor must be held responsible.”

Let’s be clear: Russia is the cause of Ukraine’s destruction. And Russia will end up bearing the cost of reconstruction.

“It is clear that Russia must pay for the destruction it has inflicted. That is why we are working with our allies to explore legal ways to use frozen Russian assets, totaling tens of billions of dollars,” the prime minister said. British, Rishi Sunak.

Leaders and representatives of more than 60 countries began in the British capital a two-day meeting that seeks to mobilize funds to sustain the economy of a country subjected to 16 months of a devastating war against the forces of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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“Every day of Russian aggression brings new ruins, thousands and thousands of houses destroyed, industries devastated, lives burned,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said, opening the conference by videoconference.

Ukraine is eager for international investment in specific sectors, ranging from technology to organic farming, he explained, believing that his country’s recovery would send a strong message to the world.

“Will it be peaceful? Will it be stable? Will it be democratic? It depends on each and every one of us”he launched, at a time when his army tries with a great counteroffensive to recover territories seized by the Russians since the beginning of the invasion in February 2022.

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Russia has been reporting fighting for a week, especially intense on the southern front.

‘Marshall plan’

The World Bank estimated Ukraine’s immediate needs to repair the damage caused by the war at $14 billion. But the broader recovery of the economy was assessed at $441 billion by a recent study by the World Bank, the UN, the European Union and the Ukrainian government.

This figure will increase as the conflict continues. The head of the German government, Olaf Scholz, compared in December the help Ukraine needs to the “Marshall plan” deployed by the United States to rebuild Europe after World War II.

Its Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock pledged on Wednesday “an additional 381 million euros for humanitarian aid in 2023 for everything from generators to food to tents,” bringing the German contribution, including military aid, to 16.8 billion euros (18.35 billion dollars).

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Before the start of the conference, the UK announced a new support plan worth $3 billion over the next three years, in the form of World Bank loan guarantees to finance Ukrainian public services.

This will bring British non-military aid to 4.7 billion pounds ($6 billion), including 240 million pounds of bilateral aid for humanitarian projects and mine clearance, Downing Street said.

“The reconstruction of the Ukrainian economy is as important as its military strategy,” Sunak said, calling on investors from around the world to contribute to this effort.

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Destruction of a dam on the Dnieper River in early June.

Involve the private sector

This is the second conference for the reconstruction of Ukraine, after last year in Lugano (Switzerland). Hundreds of leaders of large companies and NGOs participate in the event, which seeks to involve the private sector.

The meeting will be the occasion to officially launch the “Ukraine Business compact”, an initiative that invites companies from all over the world to commit to supporting the reconstruction of the country, together with the main financial institutions.

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The World Bank recently promised $200 million to restore the Ukrainian electricity grid, bringing its financing to $23 billion since the start of the conflict, in the form of loans or grants.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has also pledged to allocate 3 billion euros ($3.27 billion) in 2022 and 2023 to Ukraine, of which 1.7 billion last year went mainly to energy and transport.


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