Russian cosmonauts pictured with flags of the occupied Donbass regions at the International Space Station

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky appears on a giant screen as he delivers a statement at the start of a two-day international conference on Ukraine’s reconstruction, in Lugano, Switzerland July 4. (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images)

The reconstruction of Ukraine is a “common task” of the democratic world, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Monday during the opening statement of the “Conference for the revival of Ukraine” in Lugano, Switzerland – a two-day conference aimed at establishing a roadmap for reconstruction. of Ukraine after the Russian invasion.

“The reconstruction of Ukraine is not a local project. It is not the project of a nation, but the common task of the whole democratic world, of all countries that can call themselves civilized,” said Zelensky in virtual speech.

The President of Ukraine also said that restoring his country means restoring the principle of life, “restoring living space, restoring everything that makes man human.”

This reconstruction also implies “an opportunity for our countries and our companies and our specialists to show why freedom is more powerful than any tyranny”, he added.

European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen announced on Monday that the European Union has offered to set up a reconstruction platform to help the Ukrainian government rebuild the country after the war with Russia.

“The European Commission has proposed to the Ukrainian government to set up a reconstruction platform to map investment needs, coordinate actions, channel resources and, of course, support an ambitious reform program,” Von said. der Leyen during the opening. Ukraine revival conference ceremony.

“This platform will be the place to set the strategic directions and priorities for our joint work,” she added.

Von der Leyen also said the platform “will focus on future-proof reconstruction, moving towards climate neutrality, embracing the digital decade.” [and] build a social market economy that leaves no one behind.

She went on to say that the Kremlin’s goal is to “undermine the very existence of Ukraine as a state”, the “military, political and economic destruction” of the country and that the European Union “will not let never that happen”.

Von der Leyen added that the EU has already mobilized 6.2 billion euros in financial support and that “more must come and more will come”.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal reiterated the need for financial aid in his speech at the conference, saying the country’s stimulus package will cost around $750 billion. Shmyhal said confiscated Russian assets should be a key source of funding.

“Who should pay for the recovery plan which is already estimated at 750 billion dollars? We believe that the main source of recovery should be the confiscated assets of Russia and the Russian oligarchs. The Russian authorities started this bloody war. They caused this massive destruction and they should be held accountable,” Shmyhal told the conference, adding that “Russia’s frozen assets, according to various estimates, range from $300 billion to $500 billion.”

According to the Prime Minister of Ukraine, other sources of funding for the recovery plan should include grants and subsidized loans from international financial organizations and partner countries, investments from the private sector and off-budget contributions from individuals and companies as well than own funds from the budget of Ukraine.

The Prime Minister also said that Ukraine’s direct infrastructure losses amounted to more than $100 billion.

“More than 1,200 educational institutions, more than 200 hospitals, thousands of kilometers of gas pipelines, water and electricity networks, roads and railways have been destroyed or damaged,” Shmyhal said.

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