Belgium, (Brussels Morning Newspaper) The European Commission has pledged an additional 200 million euro for Ukrainian refugees at the donor’s conference organised by Sweden and Poland.
EC President Ursula von der Leyen noted at the event that she made the pledge on behalf of the Commission and added that more aid will be needed in the coming period, the EC pointed out in a statement on Thursday.
“We came together with a clear purpose: to support the brave people of Ukraine, who fight the aggressor and stand up for their freedom,” she stressed, reminding that the EU has been supporting Ukraine since the start of the conflict.
The Commission noted that more than 5.3 million Ukrainians have fled the country since the start of the war and arrived in EU member states and neighbouring countries.
The body reminded that it imposed sanctions against Russia in an effort to limit Moscow’s ability to finance the war as well as provided roughly 4 billion euro to member states to help them deal with the influx of refugees.
It pointed out that donors pledged some 9.1 billion euro at the event co-organized by the EC and Canada last month.
Von der Leyen stressed that the EC is prepared to help Ukraine to rebuild after the war, stressing that a recovery package should bring investments and speed up reforms aimed at making Ukraine more attractive to investors.
“We introduced five waves of sanctions that already have a devastating impact on Russia’s economy,” she stated and reminded that the EC has proposed a sixth wave earlier this week.
Von der Leyen expressed belief that “these sanctions are severely depleting the Russian economy and destroying [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s war chest,” stressing that “Putin has started this war and he has to pay for it.”
She praised Polish people for showing solidarity, noting that the EC has mobilised 3.5 billion euro for providing aid to Ukrainian refugees in the EU and pledged additional 1.8 billion last month in Warsaw.
Von der Leyen expressed hope that rebuilding of Ukraine, which she expects to cost hundreds of billions of euro, will start as soon as possible to prepare the country for EU membership.