BRUSSELS – European Union leaders are set to agree this week on an international fund to help finance the reconstruction of Ukraine from the destruction wrought by the Russian invasion, a draft of their summit statement showed.
Russian destruction of Ukraine’s main cities, infrastructure and industrial sites will require enormous funds to rebuild after the war, EU officials have said.
“Bearing in mind the destruction and enormous losses brought upon Ukraine by Russia’s military aggression, the European Union is committed to provide support to the Ukrainian Government for its immediate needs and, once the Russian onslaught has ceased, for the reconstruction of a democratic Ukraine,” the leaders will say following a summit on Mar. 24-25, according to a draft summit statement seen by Reuters.
“To that end, the European Council agrees to set up a Ukraine Solidarity Trust Fund and calls for preparations to start without delay,” it said, without naming its size.
The task will be made more difficult by the fact that Ukraine is now effectively cut off from international financial markets and its hryvnia currency has collapsed.
Some EU politicians have called for the use of Russian assets frozen by the West, including some $300 billion of Russian central bank reserves, as reconstruction money for Ukraine once the aggression ends.
EU leaders will invite others to contribute to the fund, the draft showed.
“The European Council calls for an international conference to be organised in due time to raise funding under the Ukraine Solidarity Trust Fund,” the EU summit draft conclusions said.
(Reporting by Jan Strupczewski; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel)