European leaders have kept mum on the exact sums that are needed “to rebuild Ukraine” because they are afraid of a possible negative reaction among their countries’ citizens, a US media outlet has reported.
It referred to a recent article written by Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen for a German newspaper, in which they cited 35 billion euros ($34.6 billion) as the amount that EU members “have so far raised” for Kiev.
The outlet argued that the sum is “a far cry from the 350 bln euro ($345 bln) figure von der Leyen cited at the October 25 meeting, based on the World Bank’s current cost estimate for the damage done to Ukraine.”
What’s more, the sum may finally amount to $200 billion or even “somewhere between $500 billion, maybe $1 trillion,” the outlet cited Yuriy Gorodnichenko, a Ukrainian-born economist from the University of California, as claiming. According to him, the figures are based on calculations related to “the cost of reconstructing Iraq or Afghanistan.”
“Again, these world leaders know this, but refuse to say it for fear that citizens of various European nations would decide that Ukraine’s democracy simply isn’t worth forking over hundreds of billions of their hard-earned money, much less going without heat or other necessities this winter. They refuse to say it because they know the people are right,” the outlet pointed out.
This comes as Russia continues its special operation to demilitarize and de-Nazify Ukraine. The Western countries slapped harsh sanctions against Russia shortly after Moscow launched its special operation in Ukraine on February 24 – restrictive measures that targeted Russia’s businesses, economy, media, sports and even culture.
This past summer, Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted that many risks caused by sanctions still remain, but highlighted that the Western restrictions have backfired against those who imposed them. The US, as well as several European countries, has been facing soaring inflation and skyrocketing energy prices in the wake of the anti-Russian sanctions.