Ukraine reveals cost of invasion fears
Ukraine’s economy has taken a huge economic hit due to growing panic about a potential invasion by Russia, a senior official in Kiev declared on Monday.
Speaking to RBK-Ukraine, Rostislav Shurma alleged that statements from the West that Russia is preparing a full-blown invasion are crippling Ukraine financially, with losses amounting to between two and three billion dollars per month since January,
Shurma is the deputy head of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s office.
“We see that irretrievable losses amount to two to three billion dollars a month,” the official explained. “These are stopped investments, and additional inflation, losses in the tourism sector, and a reduction in air travel. There is also speculative pressure on financial markets, which blocks borrowing and puts pressure on the exchange rate.”
The mounting costs to Kiev have come as Western nations continue to suggest that Russia is planning an imminent military incursion into Ukraine. On Friday, US President Joe Biden insisted that it will happen “in the coming days.”
Russia has repeatedly denied it has any intention of initiating an offensive, and Western claims that war in Ukraine is around the corner have been labeled “propaganda” and “hysteria” by the Kremlin.
However, the figures revealed by Shurma on Monday indicate that Ukraine is also feeling the sting of the West’s blame game.
Concerns have also been voiced by David Arakhamia, the faction leader of Ukraine’s ruling party Servant of the People, who echoed the claims that the country was losing billions each month as a result of allegations in Western media stirring up widespread panic.
However, Shurma told RBK-Ukraine that Ukraine’s economy was salvageable, should the situation in the country stabilize.
“A cushion of $4-5 billion should be enough to continue the state programs that we have planned. But the external situation may change,” Shurma said.