Conference in Paris – One billion euros winter aid for Ukraine


At the international Ukraine conference in Paris, pledges of more than a billion euros were made on Tuesday. French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna said it was donations and material resources. The aid should be granted from now until the end of winter. 415 million euros were raised to maintain the energy supply. Extra aid goes to water supply, transport, health and nutrition.

“With the aid we have a direct impact on the lives of millions of people,” emphasizes Colonna. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy previously connected to the conference via video. Zelenskyj said the aid pledges are urgently needed as energy assistance for the winter in view of the massive Russian attacks on civilian infrastructure across the country.

70 states and various international organizations participated in the conference. State Secretary for Finance Florian Tursky (ÖVP) traveled to Paris for Austria to report on the ongoing Austrian relief efforts. He welcomed France’s initiative as it helps to “better match supply and demand”.

“Helping the Ukrainian people through the winter”
At the start of the conference, French President Emmanuel Macron stressed the determination of the international community to support the country. “The immediate task is to help the Ukrainian people through the winter,” Macron said. The aim is coordinated emergency aid in the fields of energy, transport, agriculture, water and health care.

“This is a sign that Ukraine is not alone,” Macron stressed. Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, announced the creation of an EU-led coordination platform to enable aid to be passed quickly to Ukraine. For this purpose, a transshipment warehouse will be set up in Poland this week, from which relief goods will be transported to the relevant regions in Ukraine.

Zelenskyy: “Millions of people without power”
Connected by video, Ukrainian President Zelenskyy said all energy centers had been damaged or destroyed by the Russians. Millions of people are without electricity. “Imagine that for your countries.” Quick aid could prevent a massive wave of migration in this situation. “Generators have become as important as armored vehicles and body armor.” They ensured that hospitals and businesses could continue to operate and that tents could be set up where people could warm up and charge their mobile phones.

France is contributing €125 million to winter aid, €50 million of which is planned by the end of the year, Colonna said. Germany promised Ukraine another 50 million euros in winter aid during the conference. “Money alone does not protect against freezing and dying of thirst, which is why concrete technical assistance is so important,” Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said at the start of the conference. For example, there are talks with Deutsche Bahn to bring locomotives to Ukraine.

Prior to the conference, State Secretary Tursky (ÖVP) had stressed to the APA that Austria would “remain a reliable partner for Ukraine”. “What we need above all in the coming weeks is unity and strategic patience,” he said. “The conference marks the launch of a coordination tool that relies on a network of partners.”

Austria mainly supplies generators
According to Tursky, Austrian aid is currently mainly focused on the supply of generators. However, Austria has also signed a framework agreement for the construction and equipment of several health facilities in Ukraine. “The goal is to mobilize more than 600 million euros.” So far, Austria has already provided more than EUR 113 million to support Ukraine and its neighboring countries, as well as community, business and civil society initiatives.

In the afternoon, representatives of about 500 French companies discussed the prospects for the reconstruction of Ukraine with Ukrainian representatives in Paris. “It will be the construction site of the century,” it said earlier at the Élysée Palace. The goal is to plan reconstruction “better than before” to bring Ukraine up to the European level. Alstom, Engie and TotalEnergies, among others, are taking part in the meeting.

Source: Krone


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Share post:



More like this