German Chancellor vows to help rebuild Ukraine
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Monday vowed to provide wide-ranging assistance in rebuilding Ukraine, including aid for agriculture, the health sector and the restoration of the country's energy networks.
"Together with our partners, we will support Ukraine as long as necessary," Scholz said at the opening of a German-Ukrainian Business Forum in Berlin. The restoration of the country will be "a generational task," he said.
Rebuilding Ukraine will cost US$349 billion, according to an analysis released last month by the World Bank, the European Union and the Ukrainian government.
This figure is equivalent to one and a half times Ukraine's gross domestic product (GDP) before the start of the conflict with Russia.
"Ukraine's needs for recovery and reconstruction are massive – and growing," said World Bank President David Malpass earlier this month.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal has estimated that the cost of reconstruction in the country will be as much as 750 billion US dollars.
Scholz promised that German companies will invest in Ukraine, emphasizing that "whoever invests in the reconstruction of Ukraine today invests in a future EU member state."
Ukraine has been a recognized candidate for membership of the EU since June, and Scholz reiterated Germany's support for its accession. "I am very serious about this commitment, with all that it entails," he said.