US, European, and British leaders meeting in London at an international conference on Ukraine have indicated that Russia will have to pay for the reconstruction of the country, which has suffered a devastating war. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced an additional $1.3 billion in aid for essential infrastructure. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the aggressor must take responsibility, and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said Russia must pay for the destruction inflicted, and the use of frozen Russian assets for this purpose is being explored.
At a two-day conference in London, leaders and representatives from more than 60 countries are seeking to mobilize funds to prop up the Ukrainian economy. Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelenski stressed that every day of Russian aggression causes more destruction and noted that his country is eager for international investment in key sectors for recovery.
The World Bank estimates that Ukraine needs $14 billion to repair the damage caused by the war, while a joint study by the World Bank, the UN, the European Union, and the Ukrainian government estimates that economic recovery will require $441 billion. Germany pledged an additional €381 million in humanitarian aid by 2023, and the UK announced a $3 billion support plan in the form of World Bank loan guarantees.
The conference seeks to engage the private sector in Ukraine’s reconstruction and will officially launch the “Ukraine Business Compact,” an initiative to engage businesses around the world to pledge their support for the country’s reconstruction. The World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development have also pledged significant funding for Ukraine’s reconstruction.