Conference on the reconstruction of Ukraine: Zelensky is also looking for investments in the energy system and weapons

The Ukrainian president said that energy is "still one of the main targets" of Russian President Vladimir Putin and added that foreign investments in energy would be mutually beneficial.

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Zelenski and Soltz at a conference in Berlin, Photo: Reuters
Zelenski and Soltz at a conference in Berlin, Photo: Reuters
Disclaimer: The translations are mostly done through AI translator and might not be 100% accurate.

Today in Berlin, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, at the beginning of the conference on the reconstruction of Ukraine, requested short-term help for the repair of the electricity network and long-term investments in the country's energy system.

At the beginning of an international conference to collect aid for the reconstruction of Ukraine, devastated by the Russian invasion, Zelensky again appealed for more aid in weapons, which he needs to defend against Russian missile attacks.

Zelensky said at the conference that in the next month, Ukraine needs equipment for heating plants and power plants that are currently not functional, stating that nine gigawatts of electricity production capacity were destroyed, and that consumption last winter, when it was at its peak, amounted to 18 gigawatt.

The Ukrainian president, who will participate in the summit of the Group of Seven Leading Liberal Democracies (G7) in Italy and the peace summit in Switzerland this Sunday, said that energy is "still one of the main targets" of Russian President Vladimir Putin and added that the foreign investments in energy were mutually beneficial.

"Ukraine has all the natural bases for modern energy, but without your financing and investments, we will not be able to realize it. This is not about grants (non-refundable donations), but about high-yield investments for your companies, about a large market for your equipment, about loan programs for your institutions, which together could create tens of thousands of jobs," Zelenski said.

That message was repeated by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, saying that the World Bank estimated that the reconstruction and modernization of Ukraine will require investments of almost 500 billion dollars in the next 10 years.

"The reconstruction of Ukraine is and must be a business issue. Since 2022, Ukraine has been exporting excess electricity to the European Union, which clearly shows what the reconstruction of Ukraine as a whole means: it benefits everyone," Soltz said.

Scholz, whose country has become Ukraine's second-largest arms supplier after the US, again appealed to other Western allies to help bolster Ukraine's air defenses, saying "the best rebuilding is the one that doesn't have to happen."

Since Russia launched an offensive around the city of Kharkiv this spring, Zelensky insists that Ukraine urgently needs seven more American Patriot air defense systems.

The focus of the two-day meeting in Berlin, which is a continuation of the conference held a year ago in London, is also support for the reforms that Ukraine has started as part of its efforts to become a member of the European Union.

Germany has announced that the conference will bring together 2.000 people from all levels of politics, as well as from business and other fields, because supporting the recovery of Ukraine is too difficult a task to be handled by state governments alone.

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