WASHINGTON: A new international economic support package of US$115 billion gives Ukraine more confidence that it can prevail in battling Russia’s invasion, amid growing recognition that the war could continue for longer than expected, Ukrainian Finance Minister Serhiy Marchenko said on Saturday (Apr 15) .
Marchenko said Group of Seven (G7) finance ministers assured him during this week’s International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank meetings in Washington that they will support Ukraine for as long as needed, a shift from last year, when there was more pressure for Ukraine to agree to end the war.
He said that the fresh pledge of economic support – unlocked by a new four-year, US$15.6 billion IMF loan – was “tremendously” important for Ukraine, now in a second year of war after Russia’s invasion on Feb 24, 2022.
“It helps us tremendously because it provides certainty that the IMF, together with the G7 nations and supporters of Ukraine, will step in with money to cover our needs for four years,” he said. “Compared with the last spring meeting, I’m feeling more confident that we can prevail in this war.”
“Financial support is very necessary, as well as military support,” he said, acknowledging the growing acceptance that the military conflict could drag on.
“We should be ready that this war will last longer than we expected,” he said, noting that G7 partners were no longer pushing Ukraine to accept an end to war – as they had last year – but were now signaling their support for a longer conflict.
Marchenko underscored Ukraine’s appreciation for United States economic and military support – about US$50 billion since the start of the war – and said that he was confident the US Congress would maintain bipartisan support for Ukraine, despite calls by some Republicans to scale back funding.
He also underscored the urgency to begin the reconstruction of energy infrastructure, roads, schools and housing, and that Ukraine needed to expand its capacity to absorb funding.
He said that one key step would be the development of war insurance, something already underway with the World Bank’s Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), to reassure global companies that participate in rebuilding the country – an undertaking that is expected to cost at least US $411 billion.