Ukraine reveals its financial demands
Ukraine needs between four and five billion dollars a month to keep its budget afloat, Aleksandr Rodnyansky, an aide to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, told German media group Funke on Tuesday. According to the official, Kiev expects the EU to cover roughly half of that sum.
“We believe that Germany could take on about $500 million a month,” Rodnyansky said, adding that it would be especially necessary in 2023. “The state has to function, pensions have to be paid.”
Kiev also hopes to get around $2 billion per month from the EU as a whole, the German outlet added. It is unclear if this sum would balloon further in the future, since Ukraine expects its inflation to reach 24.5% in 2022, according to the nation’s central bank.
The presidential aide accused Russia of opening “an economic front in the war” by targeting Ukraine’s energy infrastructure. Moscow has already succeeded in “choking off Ukrainian electricity exports,” he said, adding that Ukrainians would face “a very big crisis” this winter and would urgently need “thermal clothing, emergency power and diesel generators” among other goods.
German Economy Minister Robert Habeck already called for an “urgent winter aid” package for Ukraine, which would include power generators, transformers and network repair equipment. Germany itself is facing an acute energy crunch and is attempting to limit consumption amid high gas and energy prices caused partly by the EU’s drive to reduce its dependency on Russian energy imports.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shmigal also put the total cost of Ukraine’s infrastructure recovery at around $750 billion on Monday. According to Funke, this sum includes the costs of developing and modernizing areas that have not been affected by Kiev’s conflict with Russia. The World Bank and the US believe the real cost of rebuilding Ukraine is half as high and amounts to around $350 billion, the media group reported.
On Monday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz told the German-Ukrainian Economic Forum, which is currently being held in Berlin, that his government wants Ukraine to become a full EU member and should plan its rebuilding efforts “with the goal of Ukraine as a member of the EU in mind.” Ukraine’s transport and logistics infrastructure should be rebuilt in a way that would allow it to be quickly connected to that of the bloc, he added.