Zelenskyy says Ukraine has not received ‘a single cent’ towards $17bn recovery plan

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Volodymyr Zelenskyy says Ukraine has not received “a single cent” towards its $17bn fast recovery plan. 

Addressing a Berlin conference on Ukraine’s reconstruction by video link, he also revealed Russian rockets and Iran-made drones have destroyed more than a third of his country’s energy sector.

“Russia destroys everything to make it harder for us to survive this winter, so that Ukraine cannot recover from this war for as long as possible, so that we cannot integrate the Ukrainian economic potential and the European economic potential for as long as possible.”

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Attendees watch Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's   keynote address on a screen during a conference on post-war reconstruction of Ukraine in Berlin, Germany
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Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks to delegates at the Berlin conference via video link

His remarks came after Kyiv residents spent the night without electricity as Russian strikes continue to hammer the country’s power networks.

National leaders, business leaders and others gathered in the German capital on Tuesday to discuss how to rebuild Ukraine after the invasion.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who co-hosted the meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, said: “We have no time to waste. The scale of destruction is staggering.”

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She said the World Bank puts the cost of damage to Ukraine so far at 350 billion euros (£305bn).

President Zelenskyy told the conference Ukraine has a $17bn (£15bn) “fast recovery” plan to repair damage to hospitals, schools, transport and energy infrastructure among other things.”

But he added: “As of now we haven’t received a single cent for the implementation of the fast recovery plan.”

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Blackouts in Kyiv as Russia targets energy

He called for more military support as well as financial assistance to help Ukraine get through the winter and rebuild after the war.

“Let the aggressor see that his goal is unattainable,” he said.

He also reiterated his belief that Ukraine is fighting for the security of Europe as it seeks to repel Russia.

“The EU will be able to fully and reliably replace dirty Russian energy sources with our help,” he added.

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It comes after the World Bank announced on Monday that it had disbursed an additional $500m (£441m) to help Ukraine meet urgent spending needs.

“The Russian invasion continues to cause massive destruction of Ukraine’s infrastructure – including water, sanitation, and electricity networks – just as winter is approaching, further endangering Ukrainian people,” World Bank Group President David Malpass said.

“The new portion of financing disbursed today will be used to maintain essential government services. We stand firmly to
support the Ukrainian people as they face this unparalleled crisis.”

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