Ukraine's finance minister says reconstruction costs are rising

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LONDON - Ukraine’s Finance Minister Serhiy Marchenko said more Western support is needed to help the country meet its growing reconstruction costs following this week’s escalation of Russian missile attacks.

A blitz of Russian strikes in recent days have caused Kyiv’s biggest power outages of the nine month-long war and shut down all of Ukraine’s nuclear power plants for the first time in 40 years.

In August, the World Bank estimated it would take US$105 billion (S$144 billion) to repair Ukraine’s physical infrastructure, but Mr Marchenko told Reuters that number was rising.

“Unfortunately, this number grows every day and in the worst case scenario will increase significantly,” he said.

Mr Marchenko added that current Western support meant “we’ll have approximately US$3billion to US$3.5 billion a month vs US$5 billion this year”, which should be enough to keep the government running.

However, he said the current budget includes little for reconstruction costs which it needs to increase if possible.

Some senior European officials have estimated that it is likely to cost more than one trillion euros (S$1.4 trillion) to rebuild Ukraine after the war, which on Thursday entered its 10th month.

For now, though, Western support continues to come in waves.

The United States authorised US$400 million in military aid this week. Foreign ministers from the Group of Seven countries will discuss ensuring Ukraine’s energy supply next week, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock posted on Twitter on Thursday.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Wednesday it had reached a provisional “staff level” agreement for a policy programme monitoring arrangement. Ukraine hopes the move will lead to a full-fledged programme ...

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