Ukraine on Monday announced a $750 billion plan to rebuild the war-torn nation and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged the international community to join “the greatest contribution to the maintenance of global peace.”
Zelenskyy argued that Ukraine’s recovery was vital for not only Ukrainians but for the preservation of democracies worldwide.
“The reconstruction of Ukraine is not a local project, is not a project of one nation, but a common task of the entire democratic world — all countries, all countries who can say they are civilized,” he said during the Ukraine Recovery Conference in Switzerland. “Restoring Ukraine means restoring the principles of life, restoring the space of life, restoring everything that makes humans human.”
Rebuilding Ukraine has already begun in certain areas where Russian forces have withdrawn as Kyiv looks to repair government buildings, hospitals, schools, housing and basic infrastructure like water and gas pipes.
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But even as Ukraine looks to repair devastated areas abandoned by Russian forces, Moscow continues its deadly campaign in eastern Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed victory over the Luhansk region on Monday after more than four months of intense fighting.
Russian forces are now looking to exert dominance over Donetsk, just south of Luhansk in the Donbas region.
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Moscow in April claimed its goal in its “special military operation” is to gain “full control” over eastern and southern Ukraine, but Ukrainian officials have warned they believe Russia will make another attempt for Kyiv.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal presented a $750 billion recovery plan that would address the immediate needs of the country, with additional plans to follow based on longer-term requirements.
Shmyhal said a major source of the plan’s funding should come from “the confiscated assets of Russia and Russian oligarchs.”
“The Russian authorities unleash this bloody war. They caused this massive destruction and they should be held accountable for it,” Shmyhal said.
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Vice president of the European Union’s executive branch, Valdis Dombrovskis, said there would be “legal obstacles” to using confiscated Russian assets as it would involve criminal law.
“But we think it’s important that according to the principle of ‘aggressor pays’ it’s also Russia’s assets which are directed to the reconstruction of Ukraine,” he added.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.