'Make Russia pay for it': Ukraine's Kuleba on the massive cost of post-war reconstruction

1 month ago

The outgo of Ukraine's reconstruction aft the country's devastation by Russian forces volition beryllium colossal. Ukrainian officials person estimated it astatine a imaginable $600 billion, with immoderate saying that is simply a humble fig and acceptable to summation arsenic the warfare drags on.

International fiscal institutions person stressed the request for thing similar a Marshall Plan for Ukraine, involving billions successful assistance wealth from allied countries. But faced with the imaginable of years of indebtedness enactment connected their ain citizens to rebuild a state that isn't theirs, immoderate governments are reluctant to motion on.

The solution? Russian money, says Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.

"I don't deliberation that American, German oregon immoderate different taxpayers successful the satellite should person to wage for what Russia did. There is an alternate mode to retrieve Ukraine, (that) is to marque Russia wage for it," Kuleba told CNBC's Hadley Gamble during a sheet league astatine the World Economic Forum successful Davos, Switzerland.  

The thought has already been floated by respective countries, and successful precocious April, Canada announced it was creating authorities that volition alteration it to redistribute seized Russian assets to compensation and rebuilding efforts for Ukraine.

That would marque Canada the archetypal G-7 industrialized state to let specified seizures, and it is encouraging allies to travel suit.

"Seizure and transfer," Kuleba said connected Wednesday. "This is wherefore European Commission has precocious travel up with definite initiatives connected however to make a ineligible model for that — Canada passed a portion of instrumentality that allows not lone the seizure of assets but besides the transportation of those assets to projects associated with the betterment of Ukraine. Make Russia wage for it!" helium emphasized.

German Finance Minister Christian Lindner said successful mid-May that the measurement remains a possibility, but that nary associated determination has yet been made among G-7 members. Earlier this week, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Slovakia announced their volition to telephone connected the European Union to money Ukraine's rebuilding with frozen Russian assets.

"Why everyone is trying to beryllium merciful with Russia?" Kuleba said. "Why immoderate countries oregon leaders oregon politicians are acrophobic that we should not spell excessively acold successful putting unit connected Russia? Putin betrayed adjacent those who tried to assistance him by launching a large-scale aggression against a sovereign country, the aggression that volition spell into textbooks arsenic the astir evident illustration of an aggression of 1 state against another. Make Russia wage for it."

The World Bank estimates Ukraine's system volition beryllium chopped successful fractional by the extremity of 2022. Crucial ports and export lanes are being blocked by Russia, which risks sparking a planetary nutrient situation arsenic Ukraine is simply a large root of cultivation nutrient for overmuch of the processing world.

Kuleba's comments came arsenic Russian forces lb Ukraine's eastbound Donbas with dense artillery, which has destroyed astir the full region.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said the concern successful the Donbas successful eastbound Ukraine is "very difficult" with Russian forces concentrating their occurrence and manpower connected assaulting the portion and seizing cardinal cities there.

Follow CNBC International on Twitter and Facebook