The Ukraine Recovery Conference has raised “a combined total of 60 billion euros” in new funding for the reconstruction of the country invaded by Russian forces, British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly announced Thursday.
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The event, co-organized by London and Kiev, has brought together political leaders, businessmen and civil society representatives from 60 countries for two days, until Thursday, to raise funds to boost the Ukrainian economy and society.
Cleverly has also confirmed that more than 500 companies from 42 States have signed the “Ukraine Business Compact” or Business Pact for Ukraine -among them Google, Siemens or Uber-, by which they commit to invest there when “the time is right ”.
According to World Bank calculations, the cost of rebuilding Ukraine amounted, one year after the start of the war on February 24, 2022, to 411,000 million dollars (376,000 million euros), while the investment needs for 2023 They are about 14,000 million (12,810 million euros).
The Ukrainian Prime Minister, Denys Schmyhal, has thanked the financial support received from various countries and said this Thursday at a press conference that he sees economic growth of Ukraine up to 10% of its gross domestic product (GDP) possible after the war if certain investment conditions are met.
“And there are other important political statements. Our partners supported the idea of using frozen Russian assets to rebuild Ukraine and do not doubt our membership of the European Union,” Schmyhal said.
EU, US and UK commitments
On the first day, on Wednesday, the European Commission promised 50,000 million euros in loans and grants for the period 2024 and 2027, in addition to another 30,000 million reserved last year.
For its part, the United Kingdom said it will guarantee World Bank loans worth 3,000 million dollars (2,750 million euros), in addition to a bilateral aid package, and the United States offered 1,300 million dollars (1,180 million euros) more , including more than $500 million to restore and improve the country’s battered power grid.
The Spanish Foreign Minister, José Manuel Albares, announced in a pre-recorded video an additional seven million euros to set up shelters in schools and mobile clinics for newborns, and will also go to help victims of sexual violence. Spain has contributed 250 million for the recovery of Ukraine after the Russian invasion.
“Russia must pay”
The Ukrainian president, Volodímir Zelenski, intervened telematically at the conference this Wednesday. Zelenski assured that his government has undertaken internal reforms that will give foreign investors the necessary “confidence” to contribute to the reconstruction of their country.
For his part, the country’s prime minister explained that the country is working to modernize and adopt European Union practices and has drawn up a five-stage plan to establish priorities and guarantee a “transparent” investment process. He has stressed that his government “is focused” on introducing legislation and reforms that offer “facilities to investors” from the private sector, although he acknowledges that the main thing is that they have access to a war risk insurance policy, something in which works in collaboration with its allies.
British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly has said the Ukrainian government’s planned reforms will allow the country to outperform other Europeans, with strategies for “digital innovation” and other sectors.
Opening the conference, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Rishi Sunak, said that “Russia must pay” for the destruction it has caused in Ukraine but assured, until this is possible, it is important that governments and especially companies promote its recovery, committing to invest “at the right time”.
Leader tory He also presented the so-called Framework of the London Conference for War Risk Insurance, backed by the G7 (group of most developed economies) and which will support insurers that make investments in Ukraine possible.
The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said Tuesday that “the possible use of Russian assets” is being worked on for the recovery and reconstruction of Ukraine.
The idea of using Russian assets was floated more than a year ago, but at the time it seemed legally impossible, Politico reports.
Schmyhal has signed off saying there are “four important takeaways” from the conference. The first, that Ukraine “will become a member of the European Union.” Then he stressed that all the participants agreed that “Russia must pay” for the destruction it has caused, for which they must “agree on a fair compensation system that allows the use of frozen Russian assets to rebuild” their country.
The third point that he has indicated is that private companies, he says, should promote reconstruction. The fourth conclusion is that the Ukrainian recovery “will bring benefits not only to Ukraine but to its partners and allies”, as, he points out, it will bring “a great boost to the European economy and opportunities” for entrepreneurs around the world.
“The reconstruction of Ukraine will be the largest project of its kind since World War II. As Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky said, we are building more than a country, we are building the world”, he declared.
The German Minister for Economic Cooperation, Svenja Schulze, has picked up the baton for Berlin to host this meeting next year, after Lugano (Switzerland) did so in 2022.
With information from EFE