World, Russia-Ukraine War

Lugano Declaration aims for Ukraine's reconstruction: Swiss president, Ukrainian premier

Ukraine's prime minister says it will cost at least $750B to rebuild infrastructure destroyed by Moscow's war on Kyiv

05.07.2022
Lugano Declaration aims for Ukraine's reconstruction: Swiss president, Ukrainian premier Credit: © KEYSTONE/DFAE/Alessandro della Valle

GENEVA

Switzerland’s president and the Ukrainian prime minister on Tuesday announced a plan for Ukraine's reconstruction to amount to $750 billion which Ukraine wants partially paid by confiscated Russian assets. 

"There is a sharp contrast between the tragic images from Ukraine that we see on the news every day and those from this conference," said Swiss President Ignazio Cassis, wrapping up the Ukraine Recovery Conference held on Monday and Tuesday.

He said a significant obligation lies in restoring hope to the Ukrainian people and the many refugees.

"The Lugano Declaration presented here today was drawn up by Switzerland and Ukraine together with the participating states and international organizations."

"Here in Lugano, we have launched the process of Ukraine's recovery at the international level and set out the principles underpinning the recovery," said Cassis, announcing the recovery plan for war-torn Ukraine.

He said the declaration explicitly acknowledges the Ukrainian government's plan for reconstruction and development, while reforms must continue in Ukraine.   

Lugano Declaration

The Lugano Declaration was drawn up by Switzerland and Ukraine, the participating states, and international organizations, said Cassis.

"What we have achieved over the last two days lays the groundwork that will, in the long term, allow for more than just the reconstruction of a battered country's infrastructure and the restoration of its people's livelihoods," said the Swiss president.

The document was supported by Switzerland, the EU, UK, and more than 40 states at the conference.

Ukraine's Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said it would cost at least $750 billion to rebuild the infrastructure of his country.

"The remainder of Ukraine's recovery should be (funded by) the confiscated assets of Russia, the Russian Federation, and of the Russian oligarchs," said Shmyhal.

"We understand that the aggressor has to pay for the destruction, has to pay for aggression. This formula will become a security approach in the future. Many potential aggressors shall know that the aggressor will have to pay for the unjustified and unprovoked aggression."   

Huge money

Responding to questions on the amount Ukraine would be seeking for its reconstruction, Shmyhal said: "Counting all the damage, it costs more than $700 billion. That is huge money. But, we understand that some of it will be compensated from confiscated Russian assets.

"But some of it will come from our budget, some of it will be given to us by our partners, financial partners, and other money will be invested by businesses because recovery is always about business."

Leaders, foreign ministers, and international institutions, including the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, participated in the June 4-5 Ukraine Recovery Conference.

They converged on the Swiss town of Lugano near the Italian border amid tight security to forge the roadmap for Ukraine's reconstruction after Russia's full-scale war on the country began on Feb. 24.

"Millions of Ukrainians have lost their livelihoods – and 90% are at risk of falling into poverty," UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the conference via video link on Tuesday.

"The damage and devastation to homes, schools, hospitals, and other critical infrastructure will take years to rebuild."

On Monday, Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the war Russia launched had united his country, sped up reforms, and united Europe and the NATO military alliance.

Britain's Foreign Secretary Truss said the UK has committed to hosting next year's Ukraine reconstruction conference.

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