‘Breadbasket of Europe’ – Has Ukraine made the West more united than ever?
Addressing over 1,000 businesses and foreign ministers at a two-day Ukraine Recovery conference in London, Volodymyr Zelensky said the war-ravaged nation has made the West, including the European Union, more united than ever before.
The Ukrainian president stressed the fight for his country was a way to shield security and freedom across the world from interference.
Once at peace, Ukraine could become an engine for security as well as economic, industrial, technological and green world growth in Europe for decades.
Ukraine Would Surely Become A Member Of EU: von der Leyen
The country was running a budget deficit to 2027 of €60 billion, the European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, told the meeting – blaming the destruction on a single person’s “delusional attempt to restore a lost empire”.
She praised Ukrainians for their bravery, adding she was sure the country would become a member of the EU.
Additional US Aid
Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the US was providing $1.3 billion in additional aid, including $520 million to restore the country’s energy grid, 50% of which has already been destroyed in the invasion.
An extra $675 million will be provided to help update Ukraine’s infrastructure, border crossings, and ports. So far, the US seems to have provided over $60 billion in aid.
“Opportunity Is Still There Today”
Richard Branson, a Ukraine ambassador for business and the founder of the Virgin Group, criticised companies still operating in Russia, and called for loopholes to be tightened and sanctions to be strengthened.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said before the brutal invasion, the Ukrainian economy was becoming a major investment opportunity. “Opportunity is still there today,” he stressed, highlighting the war has only shed light on how much Ukraine has to offer.
“It was the breadbasket of Europe”, Sunak said.
Post-war Ukraine Has A Lot To Offer
At the conference, Zelensky tried to present a vision of how a post-war Ukraine could become a future support for security, stability, prosperity, and democracy across the West. He said the country could provide fertilisers, green energy, lithium for batteries, and grains to 600 million consumers.