One example among many, this shopping center in kyiv was destroyed by a Russian strike on March 21, 2022.
Rebuilding Ukraine will cost at least 750 billion dollars and it will be “the common task of the whole democratic world”, estimated on Monday the president and the prime minister of the country, where the Russian army has been waging a destructive war for more than 4 months.< /p>
Volodymyr Zelensky, by videoconference, and Denys Chmygal in person spoke at the opening of the Lugano Conference, which must draw the outlines of the future reconstruction of the country invaded on February 24 on the orders of Vladimir Putin.
The reconstruction of Ukraine is the common task of the whole democratic world [and] the most important contribution to peace in the world, launched Mr. Zelensky, in a black t-shirt in front of the leaders of the allied countries of kyiv or many international institutions as well as representatives of the private sector.
Who should pay for the reconstruction plan, which is already estimated at 750 billion dollars ?, wondered Mr. Chmygal, before providing the answer himself: a key source of funding should be the seizure of assets of Russia and Russian oligarchs frozen under international sanctions against Moscow, in an attempt to stop the fighting.
Estimates of the amount of frozen assets range from $300 billion to $500 billion, according to Chmygal, who also outlined his government's three-stage reconstruction plan.
The urgency is to help the population affected by the war before financing in a second stage thousands of reconstruction projects and, in the long term, we must prepare a European, green Ukraine and digital, explained the Prime Minister.
Some 5.5 million Ukrainians are currently refugees elsewhere in Europe, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
Swiss President Ignazio Cassis considered that reconstruction and reforms were not in competition.
They reinforce each other, added Mr. Cassis, who called for continuing, despite the war, the efforts against corruption and to guarantee the functioning of justice.
The Lugano meeting must lead to an effective political process, added the Swiss president.
This mechanism must go through principles of governance and criteria to guarantee assistance to Ukraine and the distribution of roles between this country, other States, international institutions, the private sector and civil society.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen launched a vigorous Slava Ukraïni (glory to Ukraine!) at the end of a speech in which she insisted on the reconstruction of a Ukraine better.
If the European Union (EU) helps Ukraine win the war, we must also ensure that Ukraine wins the peace that will come without a doubt, she pointed out.
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Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala, whose country has just taken over the EU Presidency, and his counterpart Mateusz Morawiecki from Poland, the country which hosts by far the most Ukrainian refugees, were also present to draw the #x27;draft of a sort of Marshall Plan, named after the American economic program that helped to raise Western Europe from the ruins of the Second World War.
The conference had been planned well before the war and was initially intended to focus on reforms in Ukraine and in particular the fight against endemic corruption.
In its 2021 report, the NGO Transparency International ranks this country 122nd out of 180. This is better than in 2014 (142nd), and better than Russia (136th), but still far behind its EU member neighbors (the less well placed, Bulgaria, is in 78th place).
If we must above all talk about reconstruction in Lugano, the subject of corruption was highlighted by the speakers from the start because of the sums involved and the risks of embezzlement.
Lugano is not intended to be a conference of donors – where everyone announces the amount of their check – but must rather define the principles and priorities for a process of reconstruction.
The Conference is due to end on Tuesday with the adoption of the principles es of Lugano intended to guide a colossal effort that could last several decades, according to a Swiss diplomat.