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War in Ukraine: Zelensky asks for 800 million euros urgently to restore energy


France hosts an international conference to provide emergency aid to Ukraine, which is struggling through winter temperatures

Emmanuel Macron gathered this Tuesday in Paris the international community to help the Ukrainians to “resist during this winter” against a Russia which “tries to sow terror”.

After the conferences in Lugano, Warsaw and Berlin in recent months, this conference for resilience, which brings together 70 delegations from countries and international organizations, including several heads of government, is intended to be "practical-practical", explained the president.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, represented in Paris by his wife, explained by videoconference that his country needed at least 800 million euros to meet the urgent needs of the population during the winter, particularly in the energy sector. , the target of concerted attacks by Russian forces for several weeks, described by Zelensky as "energy terrorism".

"It's a lot, but the price is less than the cost of the blackout," the president said.

"War crimes"

“Russia, whose military weaknesses have come to light, has opted for a cynical strategy (…) with a view to bringing Ukraine to its knees,” Emmanuel Macron lamented, repeating that these Russian strikes constituted “crimes of war" which would "not go unpunished.

"It's cold there, Russia is bombing, trying to cut off the water, the electricity, the gas", added the head of French diplomacy Catherine Colonna, who orchestrates the morning conference called "Solidarity of the Ukrainian people ".

According to the Élysée, pledges of contributions already amounted to 400 million euros before the opening of the conference.

France will pay 76.5 million to kyiv at the start of 2023, “in the field of electricity and energy” in particular for the acquisition of LEDs and the supply of 63 electric generators in addition to the 100 delivered in November.

Germany has pledged to pay 50 million.

The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, announced the shipment on behalf of the EU of 30 million LED bulbs.

“When 50 million of these bulbs are deployed with our partners, it will save 1 GW, or the annual production of a nuclear power plant,” she argued.

The international meeting will seek to create an online mechanism for Ukraine to communicate its urgent needs and for donor countries to respond to them live.

Macron announces heavy weapons deal in Zaporizhia

Upon his arrival at the conference, Emmanuel Macron also affirmed that an agreement had been reached to withdraw heavy weapons from the Ukrainian nuclear power plant in Zaporijjia, occupied by the Russian army, and that discussions were continuing on the modalities.

“We managed to protect Chernobyl and our goal is to protect Zaporizhia.

The coming weeks will be crucial,” he said.

Read alsoUkraine: how the employees of the Zaporijjia power plant work, under the bombardments

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), whose director Rafael Grossi is also in Paris, will send missions to "secure" five nuclear power plants in Ukraine, including that of Zaporijjia, indicated, on the sidelines of the conference, the Ukrainian Prime Minister, Denys Chmygal.

The conference is due to continue in the afternoon at the Ministry of Economy and will take the form of a “bilateral for the resilience and reconstruction of Ukraine”.

The government wants to mobilize French companies to help with the reconstruction, which has already begun in certain regions.

Some 500 French companies, from CAC 40 behemoths to digital start-ups, were invited for an exchange.

The objective is long term: it will take years for Ukraine to rebuild its economic fabric.

The Ukrainian economy has already shrunk by some 33% as a result of the war that started on February 24.

The recession could reach up to 40% this year, according to the World Bank.

Source: leparis

All news articles on 2022-12-15

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