Berlin, Oct 25 (EFE).- German chancellor Olaf Scholz and the head of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen on Tuesday said Ukraine was in need of monthly support totalling as high as 5 billion euros, and called on member states to fund a third of that aid.
“Ukraine needs relief, fast rehabilitation and reconstruction,” the EU chief told the International Expert Conference on the Recovery, Reconstruction and Modernization of Ukraine forum in Berlin.
“Relief for daily survival. To be able to pay the bare minimum every single day: salaries for military and security forces, salaries for teachers and doctors in the hospitals and in the countryside, pensions for the pensioners and other indispensable payments.”
She added that international financial institutions estimated daily costs required by Ukraine to range between 3 to 5 billion euros.
“I believe it is only right if the European Union assumes its fair share. I am working with our Member States so that the Union could support Ukraine with up to 1.5 billion euros every month of the war, which would be in sum around about 18 billion euros in 2023.”
“Ukraine is not on its own in this war,” Scholz said in his opening speech at the event, which was co-hosted by the Commission and the G7, seven of the world’s most developed economies, of which Germany holds the current presidency.
The German leader then stressed that the reconstruction of Ukraine will have the support of the international community for creating what he called a “Marshall Plan for the 21st century” in reference to the US initiative for rebuilding Germany after World War II.
In his address to the conference, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that the destruction of their infrastructure by Russian forces aims to make it harder for Ukraine to survive the winter and to crush their economy even more so that the annexation of the country to the European economies will be even more difficult.
He then called for a mechanism of coordination of aid for the recovery and to seize Russian frozen assets for military support and financial assistance to Ukraine.
EU leader von der Leyen described the destruction of Ukraine as “staggering” and said that the World Bank “puts the cost of the damage at €350 billion.”
“This is for sure more than one country or one Union can provide alone. We need all hands on deck. The G7, the European Union, Europe, strong partners like the United States, Canada, Japan, the UK, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and many more.”
A day before the conference, during the Ukrainian-German economic forum held in Berlin, Ukraine’s prime minister Denys Shmyhal estimated that the cost of the reconstruction plan following Russia’s full-scale invasion to be some $750 billion. EFEgc/aef/jt