EU considers making Russian oligarchs pay to rebuild Ukraine

EU considers making Russian oligarchs pay to rebuild Ukraine
FILE PHOTO: European Union flags fly outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, March 6, 2019. REUTERS/Yves Herman

However the war in Ukraine ends, one thing is certain – someone will have to pay to rebuild the country. The question, then, is who? For example, in the first month of the war, some predicted that there was US$119 billion worth of damage done to Ukraine’s infrastructure alone.

According to a leaked proposal draft, one option the EU is mulling over is that Russian oligarchs should, or at least that the money seized from those oligarchs should be put towards the effort. This would be in addition to other financing efforts that could equal up to US$1.1 trillion, according to people familiar with the discussions.

But the EU also said it couldn’t really find all this money on its own, so it’s looking into some more creative solutions to finance the rebuilding. For example, Brussels officials have also called for the entire EU to borrow together to finance loans for Kyiv, which, if it goes through, would be the second time in its history that the bloc has borrowed as a whole rather than as individual member states.

Key comments:

“Eventually, Ukraine will need massive support and private investment for reconstruction and recovery, akin to the task of rebuilding in Europe after 1945,” said US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in a speech on Tuesday.

“Given the scale of the loans that are likely to be required, the commission could also be authorized to raise the funding for the loans on capital markets on behalf of the EU,” says a draft proposal of the EU’s plan.