Paris conference, 1 billion aid package to Ukraine to get through winter

Elizabeth Smith

On December 13, 70 participants representing Ukraine’s main partner states and international organisations, including Ursula Von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, gathered in the Paris conference for Ukraine.

At the centre of the summit is the reconstruction of the country, the timely dispatch of necessary materials and the restoration of supply networks.

Paris conference about Ukraine, who were the participants

A summit launched by Macron and Biden during the French president’s visit to Washington aims to bring concrete answers in the very short term to provide the necessary equipment and carry out work to restore the supply networks.

Other objectives include improving coordination among international donors and creating a common platform for aid coordination by expanding the EU Civil Protection Mechanism to other states and international bodies.

The international conference in support of Ukraine’s civil resistance ‘Solidarity with Ukraine’ opened in Paris with speeches by Macron and Zelensky – connected by videoconference from Kiev and represented by its prime minister, Denys Shmyhal.

The Franco-Ukrainian bilateral conference

At the end of the summit, Macron will chair, together with Zelensky, a bilateral Franco-Ukrainian conference in the presence of representatives of nearly 500 French companies at the Ministry of Economy and Finance in order to further involve the private sector in the emergency support to Ukraine.

Indeed, French companies want to contribute to the major Ukrainian reconstruction project, the Presidency of the French Republic emphasised.

After a presentation of Ukraine’s macroeconomic challenges and available financing instruments, the companies will gather around the Ukrainian ministers to discuss the major reconstruction projects in terms of infrastructure, agribusiness, healthcare, technology and energy facilities.

The bilateral conference in the afternoon will then result in the signing of a number of contracts and agreements, in particular relating to critical infrastructure.

Zelensky requests at the Paris conference for Ukraine

Already on the eve of the conference, the Ukrainian leader had cashed in on the renewed support of the G7 leaders, renewing his request for more weapons and about two billion additional cubic metres of gas for the winter.

Zelensky then proposed a ‘world peace summit‘ at which to discuss the ‘ten clear and realistic points’ of the plan presented by Kiev to the G20 in November, based among other things on the ‘territorial integrity of Ukraine and its energy, food and nuclear security’.

The revival of Kiev’s peace plan would seem to be a good solution for the US. Joe Biden, in a telephone conversation with his Ukrainian partner, ‘welcomed its stated openness to a just peace based on the fundamental principles enshrined in the UN charter’, the White House reported.

Read also: Ukraine war, Zelensky: “We will resist. Moscow uses winter as a weapon”

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