Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock wants to counter the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine with a “reconstruction offensive”. The Greens politician said this shortly before the start of the Ukraine Recovery Conference in London today, according to a statement from the Federal Foreign Office.

Rebuilding the country is a “colossal task,” Baerbock said, adding: “In 2022 alone, Ukraine lost 29 percent of its gross domestic product, and inflation was up to 27 percent.” In addition, the World Bank expects that reconstruction will cost more than 400 billion US dollars (about 366 billion euros) over the next ten years.

“Part of the European Peace and Prosperity Project”

Germany is providing “massive new humanitarian aid to help families worst affected by destruction, flooding and displacement,” said Baerbock. In the medium term, the aim is to support the financing of reconstruction. In the long term, the EU accession process will create the basis for a sustainable and prosperous Ukrainian economy.

“Germany’s support is rock-solid, today, tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. Because it is not enough for lasting peace that Ukraine wins the war – we want it to become part of the European peace and prosperity project,” said the minister. In order to manage the reconstruction, however, private investments are needed above all. Despite the war, many German companies are still active in Ukraine. Berlin supports this, for example, with national investment guarantees.

War risk insurance planned

Great Britain, which is hosting the conference together with Ukraine this year, is focusing not only on direct aid but also on promoting private investment in the country. As the British government announced, hundreds of international companies have already signaled that they want to participate in the reconstruction of Ukraine. In order to offer companies more security, the framework for war risk insurance covered by the G7 states should be created at the conference, Sunak announced.

However, Kiev should also be held responsible for getting a better handle on the problem of corruption and using aid funds effectively and in a targeted manner. At a meeting with his British colleague James Cleverly on the day before the conference, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged Kiev to strengthen democratic institutions. He also pledged the support of the United States and other allies.

A video-transmitted speech by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is expected to kick off the conference today. Baerbock and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and other politicians are also expected to speak at the conference. In the coming year, Germany wants to host the Ukraine Recovery Conference.