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Ukraine on Monday announced a $750 billion plan to rebuild the war-torn country and President Volodymyr Zelensky urged the international community to join “the greatest contribution to the maintenance of global peace”.
Zelensky argued that restoration of Ukraine was vital not only for Ukrainians, but also for the preservation of democracy throughout the world.
“The restoration of Ukraine is not a local project, it is not a project of one nation, but a common task of the entire democratic world — of all countries, all countries that can call themselves civilized,” he said during the Conference on the restoration of Ukraine in Switzerland. “To restore Ukraine means to restore the principles of life, to restore the space of life, to restore everything that makes a person a person.”
Ukraine’s reconstruction has already begun in some areas where Russian troops have withdrawn, as Kyiv hopes to repair government buildings, hospitals, schools, residences and basic infrastructure such as water and gas pipelines.
But as Ukraine struggles to rebuild the devastated areas abandoned by Russian forces, Moscow continues its deadly campaign in eastern Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced victory over the Lugansk region on Monday after more than four months of fierce fighting.
Russian forces are now looking for dominate over Donetsk, just south of Lugansk in the Donbass.
In April, Moscow said its “special military operation” goal was to gain “full control” of eastern and southern Ukraine, but Ukrainian officials warned that they thought Russia would make another attempt to seize Kyiv.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal has unveiled a $750 billion recovery plan that will address the country’s immediate needs, followed by additional plans based on longer-term needs.
Shmyhal said that the main source of funding for the plan should be “the confiscated assets of Russia and the Russian oligarchs.”
“The Russian authorities unleashed this bloody war. They caused this massive destruction, and they must bear responsibility for this,” Shmyhal said.
European Union Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis said that the use of the confiscated Russian assets would come with “legal hurdles” because it was linked to criminal law.
“But we consider it important that, according to the ‘aggressor pays’ principle, it is Russian assets that are directed to the restoration of Ukraine,” he added.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.