Paris, Dec 13 (EFE).- French president Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday called for more international aid to meet Ukraine’s urgent needs to survive the upcoming winter.
In his opening speech at a donor conference in Paris that has brought together almost 50 countries and 20 international organizations, Macron said that the future of “international order” and the “stability of all” depended on the global community rallying together behind Ukraine.
“It is tangible proof that Ukraine is not alone. We are 46 countries and 24 organizations that have responded to the call of Ukraine and France,” Macron said.
“The Ukrainian people continue to fight with admirable determination for their country and their freedom,” he said, “despite the horror of the crimes” allegedly committed by Russian forces during the invasion and occupation.
Tuesday’s diplomatic push is expected to supply Ukraine with immediate aid with food, defense and energy support amid Russia’s sustained shelling of key infrastructure which has left millions in Ukraine struggling with freezing temperatures without access to electricity or basic supplies.
Macron has earmarked 76.5 million euros ($80.5 million) in addition to the 200 million France has so far committed to Ukraine since Russia’s full-blown invasion in February.
Sources from the foreign affairs ministry said on Tuesday that donations at the Paris conference for Ukraine had reached 400 million euros, although the figure is expected to rise as the donor drive continues throughout the day.
Joining the conference via video link, Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the country needed 800 million euros in emergency energy aid.
“Of course it is a very high amount, but the cost is less than the cost of a potential blackout,” Zelensky said.
According to Zelenskyy, 12 million civilians are suffering from power outages in the war-ravaged country and he urged donors to dig deep to cover the costs of electricity generators and armored vehicles and vests for Kyiv’s troops.
The president added that responding to the immediate needs of his population this winter could prevent massive waves of migration from Ukraine.EFE