Conflict has so far destroyed $100bn in Ukrainian assets, official says – Reuters

The International Monetary Fund on Wednesday approved $1.4 billion in fast-disbursing assistance for Ukraine



Photo: AFP

By AFP

Published: Thu 10 March 2022, 07:16 PM

The Russian attack has so far destroyed about $100 billion worth of roads, bridges and businesses in Ukraine, dealing a major blow to its economy, a Kyiv government official said on Thursday.

“Currently, about 50% of our businesses are not working, and those that are still working are not working 100%,” said Oleg Ustenko, chief economic adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

“The situation in terms of economic growth is going to be really very depressing, even if the war stops immediately, he said in a virtual speech at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

Ustenko reiterated his call for European and other governments to cut off Moscow’s access to “blood money” by boycotting Russian oil and natural gas.

“Europeans continue to pay this monster to kill our people, innocent people,” he said.

While European nations depend on Russian energy for heating, “I can assure you that it is much, much, much colder in the Ukrainian basement where people are hiding.”

The official praised the United States for stopping Russian oil imports and said he hoped Washington would also help create a “recovery fund” for Ukraine.

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Kiev could also use the roughly $300 billion in Russian central bank reserves frozen as a result of Western sanctions, as well as funds seized from oligarchs allied with President Vladimir Putin.

“We have to rebuild the economy,” he said.

The International Monetary Fund on Wednesday approved $1.4 billion in fast-disbursing assistance for Ukraine, and the World Bank this week released nearly $500 million of what is expected to be $3 billion in funding. .

In addition, the US Congress on Wednesday approved $14 billion in aid to Ukraine.

But Ustenko said: “What we need most is more weapons and ammunition. It is extremely important.

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