Britain and the United States pledged support Tuesday for rebuilding Ukraine following the vast damage wreaked on the country from Russia’s 16-month-old invasion.
“Ukraine’s reconstruction needs are — and will be — immense,” British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said in London. “Through our new measures today, we’re strengthening the U.K.’s sanctions approach, affirming that the U.K. is prepared to use sanctions to ensure Russia pays to repair the country it has so recklessly attacked.
“This week is very much about creating the conditions necessary for public sector money, of course, but predominantly private sector money to fund their reconstruction,” Cleverly said.
“I’m not going to prejudge exactly what vehicles will be used to unlock both the public and the private money that Ukraine will need,” he said. “Ultimately, we want to ensure that the investment that goes into Ukraine is safe from further conflict and deployed as effectively as possible through robust and reformed Ukrainian institutions.”
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the United States would continue to support Ukraine.
“We will continue to deliver on that commitment, including through a new robust U.S. assistance package that I’ll be able to announce [Wednesday],” Blinken said.
Blinken met with his British and Ukrainian counterparts ahead of a Ukraine Recovery Conference on Wednesday and Thursday that is focused on fostering international support for helping Ukraine recover from the effects of the Russian invasion.
As part of World Refugee Day Tuesday, Blinken and Cleverly toured a center in London set up to help Ukrainians who fled the war get the advice and support they need to adapt to life in Britain.
After bilateral talks with Cleverly, Blinken met later with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.
Blinken said the 50-country, aid-for-Ukraine conference was a show of the “powerful and enduring support for Ukraine, not only militarily but also economically, and also in everything we’re trying to do to build the strongest possible democracy. So, we’re very pleased to be part of this and very pleased that Ukraine and our friends here are hosting this conference.”
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak spoke by telephone Monday with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy ahead of the conference.
“It was a unique opportunity to underline the strong public and private sector support for Ukraine, and demonstrate the country’s transformation and ongoing reform, the leaders agreed,” Sunak’s office said in a statement.
Britain is the second-largest donor of military aid to Ukraine since Russia invaded in February 2022, trailing only the United States.
Zelenskyy said he expects the conference will consolidate various recovery efforts, and that the recovery “should demonstrate to the world that freedom is invincible.”
Zelenskyy, in his nightly address Monday, also praised Britain for new legislation that would allow redirecting Russian funds frozen under sanctions to help pay for Ukraine’s rebuilding.