France pledges €2bn for Ukraine's resistance against Russian troops

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French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday vowed to plough nearly 2 billion euros into supporting Ukraine in its fight with Russian armed forces.

Macron said France would give the sum to Volodymyr Zelensky's administration during a video address to an international donors' conference in Warsaw.

Last year France sent 1.6 billion euros worth of aid to Ukraine.

But since 24 February when the Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered his country's military into Ukraine, France has sent in medical equipment as well as military supplies to the country.

Last Saturday during an hour-long phone call with Zelensky, Macron promised to send weapons and humanitarian aid to Ukraine as part of the international effort to repel Russian forces.

Solidarity

Thursday's conference at Warsaw's National Stadium was held as a further sign of solidarity for Ukraine.

"The humanitarian needs of the population and the economic situation of the country call for a new effort by the international community which meets the needs linked to the destruction of civilian infrastructure," Macron said.

The Polish Prime Minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, a co-host of the conference, said that just over 6 billion euros had been promised.

His co-host, Sweden's Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson, said the amount had exceeded their expectations.

“Ukraine will win this war and we will stand by your side,” Andersson told the conference.

Reconfiguration

Since the visit on Saturday of the top American politician Nancy Pelosi, the issue of reconstructing Ukraine has been discussed openly with a rebuilding programme akin to the package created by the American general George Marshall for European countries after World War II.

During the four-year initiative, the US pumped in more than 13 billion dollars, equivalent to 115 billion dollars today.

Last month, researchers from the Centre for Economic Policy Research said it will cost between $220 billion and $540 billion to reconstruct Ukraine in the wake of the devastation.

Charles Michel, the European Council President, said he hoped the conference could be a launch point for a Marshall Plan for Ukraine.

Rebuild

Ursula von der Leyen, Michel's counterpart at the European Commission, added: "Hundreds of billions of euros and reforms are needed to build Ukraine anew and pave its way into the EU."

The Ukrainian Prime Minister, Denys Shmyhal, who travelled to the Polish capital for the conference, hailed the response and help from nations around the world following the start of the conflict.

"We are grateful for the crucial help at a time when the fate of our state is being decided," he said.

"We will build back better”with technologically modern urban areas and energy efficient buildings.

"The new Ukraine will be an example for the world."

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