HOW TO SUSTAIN AND REBUILD UKRAINE’S ECONOMY - Russia’s war on Ukraine is the greatest violation of international order and the greatest direct challenge to American interests in the past twenty years. As Russia’s military has failed on the battlefield, the Kremlin had waged a deliberate war on Ukrainian civilians and the Ukrainian economy. Estimates suggest that Ukraine’s GDP has fallen by up to 50 percent and the Ukrainian government needs $5 billion monthly from the international community to sustain operations.
The World Bank estimates that Ukraine needs $350 billion in aid for reconstruction and recovery, while some economists say the figure could be as high as $600 billion. At the same time, Western governments have frozen more than $300 billion in Russian financial assets since Moscow’s full-scale invasion in February 2022. There are growing calls for using frozen Russian assets to sustain Ukraine’s economy during the war and eventually to pay for Ukraine’s reconstruction. At the same time, others fear that doing so would undermine the integrity of the international financial system, even though there are precedents for this.
The Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center and GeoEconomics Center hosted a moderated discussion on the role that frozen Russian assets could play in the sustainment and rebuilding of Ukraine’s economy.
ORIGINAL AIRDATE: 02/27/23