Germany estimates cost of rebuilding Ukraine
Rebuilding Ukraine will cost billions according to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who estimated the scale of the effort during a press conference in Berlin on Thursday.
The German leader said the project would be more ambitious than the 1947 US-sponsored Marshall Plan enacted to restore Europe following World War II, which cost an estimated $13 billion ($150 billion in today’s currency) in economic recovery programs.
As for when the Ukraine project could begin, Scholz said the issue of establishing peace there is exclusively down to its people and government.
“Only the Ukrainian president, government, parliament and the Ukrainian people can say: this is a decision that we consider correct,” said Scholz, as quoted by RIA, adding that a “forced peace will not work,” which is why Germany will continue providing financial and military aid to Kiev.
“At the same time, we must address the issue of reconstruction – infrastructure, buildings, institutions […] The destruction is dramatic, it’s going to cost billions,” Scholz said, adding that it was incorrect to describe this huge task as a Marshall plan. “It’s much more,” said the chancellor.
Following the G7 summit in June, Scholz said the destruction he witnessed while visiting Ukraine reminded him of pictures of destroyed German cities after WWII and that, “just like war-ravaged Europe then, today Ukraine needs a Marshall Plan for its reconstruction.”
Earlier this month, Bloomberg reported that Ukraine was asking foreign donors for hundreds of billions of dollars for reconstruction efforts, suggesting that the EU would foot the bill for the bulk of the assistance package and provide Kiev with over 500 billion euro ($523 billion).
Prior to that hefty request, President Vladimir Zeleksny told a NATO conference in Madrid that Kiev needed $5 billion per month to cover its budget deficit. The Ukrainian leader has insisted that Kiev would not concede any territory to Russia in exchange for a ceasefire and has pressured the West to provide more weapons to Ukraine in order to change the tide against Moscow.
Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. The protocols, brokered by Germany and France, were first signed in 2014. Former Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and “create powerful armed forces.”
In February 2022, the Kremlin recognized the Donbass republics as independent states and demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join any Western military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked.