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Ukraine Recovery Conference 2023: goals and key topics of discussion

Ukraine Recovery Conference 2023: goals and key topics of discussion Ukraine Recovery Conference (
Author: Maria Kholina

The capital of Great Britain is hosting the Ukraine Recovery Conference (URC), where international partners will offer programs for economic support, while the Ukrainian side will present a strategy to attract private investments and facilitate rapid country reconstruction. The events will take place in London on June 21-22.

The URC 2023 in London aims to bring together the international community to strengthen economic support, as the scale of destruction and damages in Ukraine due to Russian attacks continues to grow.

The emphasis will be on attracting private sector involvement and increasing investor confidence.

Partners will discuss the provision of emergency assistance for Ukraine's immediate needs and explore long-term programs. The goal of the conference is to demonstrate unwavering support and aid Ukraine in rebuilding the country according to the "build back better" plan.

The Ukrainian side will present the most promising areas for investment, steps to mitigate risks for investors, and provide updated information on the progress of the national Recovery and Development Plan.

Participants of URC 2023 include around 1,000 high-ranking officials from 60 countries, representatives of 33 international organizations, 400 businesses, and 130 civil society organizations.

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, along with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy (joining online), will open the URC on June 21 at 10:55 Kyiv time.

Addresses are also expected from European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal will deliver a speech during the plenary session on the first day of the Conference at 12:45 on June 21.

Expectations from the London Conference for Ukraine include mobilizing maximum international support for the country's rapid and long-term recovery. It is also important to establish mechanisms to ensure timely and regular delivery of aid.

Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal outlined three focal points:

1. Rapid recovery, which includes energy, critical and social infrastructure, and housing reconstruction.

2. Attracting private investments by presenting the most promising areas for investment and taking steps to reduce investor risks, including insurance against geopolitical risks.

3. Regional development, aiming to activate horizontal connections between Ukrainian communities and international partners for regional recovery projects.

The Ukrainian side also hopes for effective decisions from the meeting of the Interdepartmental Donor Coordination Platform ("Financial Ramstein"), which will take place during the conference.

Denys Shmyhal mentioned that for 2023 alone, the World Bank estimated Ukraine's needs under the Rapid Recovery program at $14.1 billion. However, the total amount is bigger, taking into accoung damages from the occupation of the Kahovka Hydroelectric Power Plant.

The overall reconstruction needs amount to $411 billion, excluding losses in Ukraine's occupied territories.

International partners are making announcements as well. British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said that the London Conference should serve as another form of counteroffensive. He urged British investors and businesses to support Ukraine in the long term, accelerate its recovery through rapid innovation and investments.

The UK is preparing a range of digital tools to facilitate foreign investments, including the TechBridge digital platform, which will connect Ukrainian businesses with global companies, providing virtual networks and fostering cooperation from supply chains to business expansion.

Another initiative is the InnovateUkraine Green Energy Challenge Fund worth £10 million, which will stimulate and accelerate the development of affordable low-carbon energy projects for Ukraine. Researchers, companies, and civil society organizations can apply for financial support from the fund to implement their green energy ideas.

Prior to the conference, the UK introduced legislative changes to support Ukraine. These changes empower the government to maintain sanctions against Russia until compensations are paid to Ukraine and introduce a new mechanism for utilizing frozen Russian assets, which can be donated to Ukraine's recovery efforts.

The European Union will provide Ukraine with €50 billion in financial assistance over the next four years. They plan to establish a dedicated mechanism called the Ukraine Facility to attract funds through grants, credits, investments, and technical assistance. It will contribute to the support of the country's macro-financial stability, reconstruction, and modernization during key reforms on the path to EU accession.

The United States has also announced a "significant package" of assistance. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will announce its details during the London Conference on June 21. He emphasized that the United States will fulfill President Biden's commitment to support Ukraine for as long as necessary. This new support package will build on those existing commitments.

Previous Ukraine Recovery Conferences

The URC continues a series of conferences dedicated to Ukraine's transformation, which started in 2017 in the UK capital. The second conference took place in Copenhagen in 2018, followed by the next ones in Toronto in 2019 and Vilnius in 2021.

The initial four years of these events were known as the Ukraine Reform Conference, focusing on the country's modernization towards European and Euro-Atlantic integration.

However, after the full-scale Russian invasion, the conference became the main platform for discussing international aid for Ukraine's recovery. Last year's event was held in Lugano, Switzerland, as the Ukraine Recovery Conference.

During that conference, the Ukrainian government presented the Recovery Plan and initiated cooperation with international partners on economic assistance to overcome the consequences of Russian aggression.

Ukraine is preparing a "Green Marshall Plan for the economy." Its first stage involves the restoration of the metallurgical sector using new environmental technologies, which requires approximately $40 billion for its implementation.