9 Jun 2022 12:51

Zelensky calls on investors to pursue long-term cooperation with Ukraine

MOSCOW. June 9 (Interfax) - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has called on Western partners to engage in long-term cooperation with Ukraine.

When addressing the participants in the 'Dragon Capital's Ukraine Virtual Investor' on Wednesday, Zelensky invited them to explore two horizons for cooperation with Ukraine: short-term and long-term.

"These are very simple, very transparent tools. The first tool is our United24 platform, a special fundraising platform with which we accumulate funds to restore life," Zelensky said.

The second tool is Ukraine's military bonds, the president said.

"Even now, we are demonstrating absolutely conscientious service of our debt. Military bonds are a tool for you to support us [...] and to make money," the president said.

Long-term cooperation includes five key elements and opportunities, Zelensky said, adding that they are "Europe, IT, agriculture, green energy, localization of production."

"I propose moving the headquarters of IT companies to Ukraine, to create joint service centers and R&D centers," he said.

"Our banking system, finances, government agencies remain absolutely stable," he said.

The ambitious program for Ukraine's recovery will become the largest economic project in Europe, he said.

When addressing the Yale CEO Summit by video link on Wednesday, Zelensky focused on the refugee problem, calling on Western partners to extend support to them.

"They [refugees] believe that they will be able to return. People who are now abroad, in other countries, need support, I want to be straightforward here, they need financial support to buy usual things," he said.

Many countries, which have been providing humanitarian aid to Ukrainians, have started to reduce this support because they are also facing difficulties, he said.

"I don't blame them. They have already done a great deal for our temporarily displaced people. That's why, I want you to pay attention to some very simple things: it is important to financially support our people while they are outside of our state," he said.

As an example of such assistance, Zelensky mentioned temporary jobs for Ukrainian citizens, temporary places, preferably offline classes, for Ukrainian children and young people at schools and universities in order to allow them to communicate and to avoid psychological problems.

Zelensky said that he looks forward to Ukrainian refugees returning home and helping rebuild the country.

It was announced at the Yale CEO Summit before Zelensky's remarks that the community of U.S. companies will begin supporting 100,000 Ukrainian refugees abroad from June.

Zelensky also called on the top managers of international companies to create jobs in Ukraine.

"I very much want your companies to consider entering and looking for their place in the Ukrainian economy. What counts most to us is jobs. You understand that these are serious challenges for 12 million people who have lost their homes, have left them, have lost jobs," Zelensky said at the summit.

The president also underscored the importance for international companies to continue investing in Ukraine and open their offices in Ukraine.

"You should find the spheres of business for which you are ready, ranging from digitalization to energy. We are ready to discuss everything. But we are not ready to make a minimal tax system. You have to understand us: we are speaking about the reconstruction of Ukraine, and it means that we need finances for that. But there will be comfortable and transparent conditions, prompt management regarding the start of your business in Ukraine," he said.

Zelensky also met with U.S. philanthropist Howard Buffett in Kyiv on Wednesday.

"Glad to meet Howard Buffett in Kyiv. We appreciate this signal of solidarity with Ukraine. Expressed gratitude for the humanitarian support to Ukraine. Invited him to join projects on restoring irrigation systems in the Odesa region, supporting internally displaced persons, demining and school nutrition reform," the Ukrainian president said on social media.