Zelenskyy calls on EU to establish ‘financial Ramstein’ to help Ukraine

25 October 2022, 03:26 PM
Ukraine needs funds to fill a $38 b deficit hole in its finances (Photo:president.gov.ua)

Ukraine needs funds to fill a $38 b deficit hole in its finances (Photo:president.gov.ua)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Oct. 25 called on the EU countries to establish a “financial Ramstein” procedure to help Ukraine in the reconstruction and restoration of its war-torn economy.

 “Ramstein” refers to the U.S. military base in Germany at which meetings have been held on providing military aid to Ukraine.

“I believe that we can now adopt a decision on the establishment of a ‘financial Ramstein’ to maintain our common stability – by analogy with the ‘defense Ramstein’ which is already functioning,” Zelenskyy said at the International Expert Conference on the Recovery, Reconstruction and Modernization of Ukraine.

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“We need a financial coordination platform that will unite and direct all the efforts aimed at rebuilding our country after hostilities.”

According to Zelenskyy, Ukraine has developed a transparent plan of priority steps in reconstruction, and “this is what Ukraine literally needs to survive.”

“The weight of our Fast Recovery Plan is $17 billion for critical immediate reconstruction,” the president said.

“These are hospitals, schools, vital transport and energy infrastructure. We have a huge need for housing reconstruction.”

He stressed that Ukraine had not yet received a single cent for the implementation of the Fast Recovery, and urged partner countries to speed up decisions on financing.

Zelenskyy emphasized that “already at this Conference – it is necessary to adopt a decision on assistance to cover the deficit of our state budget next year.”

“For Ukraine, this is an unsustainable amount – a deficit of $38 billion,” the Ukrainian leader said.

“These are salaries of teachers, doctors, social benefits, pensions. Significant funds. But our association is powerful enough to implement such a task as well.”

He stressed that Russian assets, those that have already been frozen, and those that still need to be frozen, are significant.

“A significant part of these assets is in the jurisdictions of European countries,” he said.

“We need compensation – and this is fair. And therefore, we need a real, fast, legal mechanism for directing Russian assets to compensate for the losses caused by the Russian war.”

In early October, Zelenskyy took part in a ministerial meeting of donor countries, the IMF and the World Bank and announced the creation of a financial Ramstein – a format for permanent financial support of Ukraine. He said “these are significant amounts – dozens of billions of dollars for the budget and Fast Recovery. But the potential of democratic countries is much greater than the needs.”

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