Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and CEO of the US investment management company BlackRock, Larry Fink, held a video meeting on Wednesday and agreed to coordinate the reconstruction of Ukraine.
Zelensky’s office said that he and Fink “agreed to focus in the near term on coordinating the efforts of all potential investors and participants in the reconstruction of our country, channeling investment into the most relevant and impactful sectors of the Ukrainian economy.”
The World Bank estimated this month that it could cost between 500 and 600 billion euros ($525 billion-$630 billion), and the number could rise as the war drags on. Back in June, the World Bank said reconstruction would cost about 350 billion euros. Ukrainian officials have previously put the price tag for Ukraine’s “recovery plan” at $750 billion.
Zelensky mentioned his meeting with Fink in a video address on Wednesday and also announced that he would be attending the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, in January.
“We are preparing to partake in the World Economic Forum in Davos. The posture and prospects of Ukraine will be presented there,” he said. It’s not clear if he will attend virtually or in person as the Ukrainian leader just made his first known trip outside of the country to visit Washington DC last week.
In October, Zelensky asked for an additional $55 billion in aid from the West to cover Ukraine’s $38 billion budget deficit for 2023. The Ukrainian leader requested the additional $17 billion to begin financing some reconstruction projects.