Volodymyr Zelenskyy says Ukraine has not received “a single penny” for its $17 billion rapid stimulus package.
Addressing a Berlin conference on Ukraine’s reconstruction via video link, he also revealed that Russian rockets and Iranian-made drones had destroyed more than a third of his country’s energy sector.
“Russia is destroying everything so that it will be more difficult for us to survive this winter, so that Ukraine cannot recover from this war as long as possible, so that we cannot integrate the Ukrainian economic potential and the European economic potential for as long as possible.”
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His remarks came after residents of Kyiv went without power overnight as Russian strikes continue to hammer the country’s power grids.
National leaders, business leaders and others gathered in the German capital on Tuesday to discuss how to rebuild Ukraine after the invasion.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who co-hosted the meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, said: “We have no time to waste. The scale of the destruction is staggering.
She said the World Bank so far puts the cost of damage to Ukraine at 350 billion euros (£305 billion).
President Zelensky told the conference that Ukraine has a $17bn (£15bn) “rapid recovery” plan to repair damage to hospitals, schools, transport and energy infrastructure, among others.”
But he added: “So far we haven’t received a penny for the implementation of the rapid recovery plan.”
He called for more military support as well as financial aid to help Ukraine weather the winter and rebuild after the war.
“Let the aggressor see that his goal is unattainable,” he said.
He also reiterated his belief that Ukraine is fighting for Europe’s security as it seeks to push back Russia.
“The EU will be able to completely and reliably replace dirty Russian energy sources with our help,” he added.
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It comes after the World Bank announced on Monday that it had disbursed an additional $500m (£441m) to help Ukraine meet urgent spending needs.
“The Russian invasion continues to cause massive destruction of Ukraine’s infrastructure – including water, sewerage and electricity networks – as winter approaches, further endangering the people Ukrainian,” said World Bank Group President David Malpass.
“The new portion of the funding disbursed today will be used to maintain essential government services. We are firmly committed to
support the Ukrainian people in the face of this unprecedented crisis.”
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