Sunday

29th May 2022

More than €6bn raised for Ukraine at donor conference

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An international donors conference collecting funds for Ukraine in Warsaw on Thursday raised €6.1bn ($6.5bn) to help the country defend itself against the Russian invasion, Poland's prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki said.

His co-host, Sweden's prime minister Magdalena Andersson, said the sum exceeded their expectations.

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Countries such as Finland, France, the Czech Republic, Croatia and others pledged millions of euros to support humanitarian and military efforts in Ukraine as part of the conference hosted by Poland and Sweden.

France will increase its financial aid to Ukraine by €284m, president Emmanuel Macron told the conference.

"The humanitarian needs of the population and the economic situation of the country call for a new effort by the international community which meets the needs linked to the destruction of civilian infrastructure," Macron said.

The EU Commission also pledged €200m in aid for displaced people in Ukraine, the executive said a statement.

"We will do everything in our power to stop Russia and sure Ukrainian victory," Morawiecki said at the conference.

Poland's government argued that Ukraine's needs are huge as Russian aggression damaged the country and forced millions of Ukrainians to flee the country.

Morawiecki said that Ukraine needs daily 12,000 tonnes of humanitarian aid — food, medicine and hygiene products –

and only three thousand tonnes are delivered currently.

Ukraine needs €5bn per month to keep the state running, according to the International Monetary Fund.

The Polish premier said the conference shows that the world is not indifferent to Russia's "genocidal war".

"You are not fighting for you homeland, independence and freedom, but also ours," Morawiecki told the conference.

"Together we will demonstrate that European values are not empty words but that they are backed with action," he added.

Ukrainian prime minister Denys Shmyhal told the conference that Ukraine needs weapons, sanctions, financing and European perspective.

"We want to build a new European country," he said on after the war.

Companies such as Google and Covid-19 vaccine-maker AstraZeneca joined the nations in pledging aid.

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday also announced the launching of a global crowdfunding platform to help Kyiv win the war with Russia and rebuild the country's infrastructure.

EU Commission proposes Russian oil-ban in new sanctions

Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said EU countries should phase out Russian crude oil imports within six months, and refined oil by the end of the year to minimise the impact on European economy and global supply.

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Ukraine shows the EU must think beyond tomorrow

International Monetary Fund managing director Kristalina Georgieva is among those warning that increases in food and energy prices due to the Ukraine war will trigger social unrest. Pakistan and Sri Lanka are proof that this is already happening.

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When Reagan met Gorbachev — a history lesson for Putin

Neither Reagan nor Gorbachev achieved their goal at the famous Reykjavik summit of 1986. Despite that fact there are lessons that current leaders — particularly Vladimir Putin — could adopt from these two iconic leaders.

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