4 Jul 2022 20:03

Zelensky in Lugano: Ukraine recovery task for whole civilized world

MOSCOW. July 4 (Interfax) - Rebuilding Ukraine is not a local project but a shared task of the whole civilized world, the country's President Volodymyr Zelensky told the Ukraine Recovery Conference in Lugano by video link on Monday.

"Rebuilding Ukraine is not a local project, not a project of one nation, but the common task of the whole democratic world," Zelensky was quoted by the Ukrainian media as saying.

"Of course, that means building, large-scale building, and of course that means huge funding and colossal investments. Of course, that means a whole new level of security across our country.

"Back in the spring, we started offering our partners to join the Ukraine Recovery project. Already it was obvious then that this was to become the biggest project of our time: economic, technological, social, and crucially - a visionary one," Zelensky said.

He thanked the countries which have "positively accepted our proposals to take charge of regions, towns or sectors. In particular, I am grateful to Denmark for its readiness to oversee the reconstruction of the town of Mykolaiv. I am grateful to Britain for its interest in restoring Kyiv region. And I also have invited all countries of the civilized world, ambitious companies and specialists, to join our efforts.

"And I am certainly grateful to the European Commission for the initiative to create an ad hoc European platform for the reconstruction of Ukraine," he said.

For his part, Ukraine's Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal told the Lugano conference that the platform for rebuilding Ukraine, entitled "United in Defense - United in Recovery," will consist of three levels and have several offices in partner-countries with the center in Kyiv.

"The platform we propose to create will consist of several levels. The first, high, level, is where country leaders will be represented, it will be a board for setting strategic directions and vision," Shmyhal said.

"The second level is a joint coordination group that will consist of chief executives of governments and decision-makers from Ukraine, the United States, the European Union, Britain, Poland, and other partner-countries that are with us today," he added.

The third level is comprised of sector-specific thematic groups, of which there are 24 today, he said.

Ukraine proposes opening several recovery offices for better efficiency, with the headquarters in Kyiv and branches in Brussels, London, and other cities if the partners wish so, Shmyhal said.

For Ukraine, it is important to form an international coalition for the country's reconstruction, he said.

The recovery process will be based on transparency, to which end Ukraine proposes setting up a advisory group of world-renowned European and U.S. politicians and economists, the prime minister said.