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Ukrainian PM: Wealthy Russians should foot the reconstruction bill

  • The Swiss conference on Ukrainian recovery is launched
  • Ukrainian PM says effort could cost $750 billion
  • Britain’s Liz Truss says Russia should be held accountable

LUGANO, Switzerland, July 4 (Reuters) – The cost of rebuilding Ukraine after the Russian invasion could reach $750 billion and wealthy Russians should help foot the bill, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmygal said on Monday. .

“We believe that the main source of recovery should be the confiscated assets of Russia and Russian oligarchs,” he told a conference in the Swiss city of Lugano, citing estimates that frozen Russian assets were worth between 300 and 500 billion dollars.

“The Russian authorities started this bloody war. They caused this massive destruction and they should be held accountable.”

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Russia has said its “special military operation” in Ukraine aims to demilitarize its southern neighbor and protect Russian speakers from what it calls nationalists.

Ukraine and its Western allies say this is a baseless pretext for blatant aggression aimed at seizing territory.

Shmygal’s view on Monday was echoed by British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, who said Russia must be held accountable for the damage caused by its ‘dreadful war’, while Kyiv also needed help to rebuild its broken economy.

“We are looking at options for the deployment of Russian assets,” Truss told Reuters on the sidelines of the conference.

“At the same time, we are doing what we can to revive the Ukrainian economy – getting those grain exports out of Odessa, making sure that we help Ukrainian industry and businesses get started,” he said. she declared.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen attends the NATO summit in Madrid, Spain June 29, 2022. Brendan Smialowski/Pool via REUTERS

Marine insurance and adequate armament to protect ports exporting grain were among the areas examined, Truss said.

Also addressing the Ukraine recovery conference, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the European Union would establish a central platform to coordinate reconstruction efforts and also help to consolidate Ukraine’s status as a candidate for EU membership, which the EU agreed to last month. Read more

“Since the start of the war, the European Union has mobilized around 6.2 billion euros ($6.48 billion) in financial support,” von der Leyen said. “And… others will come. We will engage substantially in medium- and long-term reconstruction.”

The platform will map investment needs and channel resources, von der Leyen said.

It will bring together countries, the private sector, civil society, as well as international organizations such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the European Investment Bank.

The European Investment Bank, the lending arm of the European Union, is offering a financing structure previously used during the COVID-19 pandemic to help rebuild Ukraine. Read more

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy hailed the reconstruction efforts.

“To rebuild Ukraine is to restore the principles of life, to restore living spaces, to restore what makes people human,” he said via video conference.

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Reporting by John Revill and Silke Koltrowitz; additional reporting by Max Hunder in Kyiv; edited by Barbara Lewis and Andrew Heavens

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.