The US government has called on the world community to continue providing financial aid to Russia’s attacked Ukraine. “Supporting Ukraine is a joint effort,” US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned yesterday in Washington at the spring meeting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.

There, representatives of the Ukrainian government met with donors to discuss Ukraine’s financial needs. “We applaud the efforts of our allies and partners to provide extensive (…) and timely assistance,” Yellen said, urging everyone “to continue to do so.” In view of a financing gap worth billions, Ukraine also put pressure on the necessary aid to be provided quickly.

Zelenskyy: Confiscate Russian assets

The Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was connected to the round table via video. He called for Russian state assets to be confiscated and made available to Ukraine for reconstruction. “Russia must feel the full price of its aggression,” he said. It is realistic to confiscate Russia’s assets and those of the Russian central bank so that life in Ukraine can be restored. It would be a “peace-making measure” because it also has a deterrent effect.

“A concrete mechanism for using frozen assets needs to be worked out to compensate for the damage caused by Russia,” the Ukrainian president said. In the past, the world community has largely lagged behind similar demands by Ukraine. The main reasons were legal concerns and practical hurdles – but political risks were also seen. Russia had repeatedly threatened countermeasures in the event of expropriations.

411 billion US dollars needed

In March, the World Bank, together with the Ukrainian government and the European Commission, calculated that at least 411 billion US dollars (around 374 billion euros) would be needed for Ukraine’s reconstruction and recovery over the next ten years. According to this, Ukraine will need 14 billion US dollars (12.7 billion euros) for priority reconstruction and rehabilitation investments this year alone. According to the World Bank, there is a financing gap of around 11 billion US dollars (around 10 billion euros).

In order for people to be able to return to Ukraine, funds are needed to cover the most urgent needs, Zelenskyj demanded. The Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, who had come to Washington in person, also put on the pressure. The missing money should have been raised by the end of the first half of this year at the latest in order to have enough time to invest in social and critical infrastructure, he said.

The IMF has just approved a billion-dollar loan program for Ukraine over the next four years. He specifically changed his rules to allow such programs for countries facing “extraordinarily high levels of insecurity.” The G7 finance ministers and central bank governors welcomed the loan program in a joint statement during the spring meeting. “We reiterate our unwavering support for Ukraine and our unanimous condemnation of Russia’s war of aggression,” the statement said.