Zelensky asks EU to cover Ukraine's 38bn deficit

10/26/2022 6:42:06 PM
 Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, speaks during the EU-Ukraine summit press conference in Kiev, Ukraine, Monday, July 8, 2019.
 photo: Efrem Lukatsky/AP
Zelensky called on participants in a conference on the reconstruction of Ukraine to commit to covering the expected budget deficit of his country next year, amounting to 38 billion dollars.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky revealed today, Wednesday, that Russia used close to 400 Iranian drones in its attacks on the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.

On October 10, the Ukrainian army announced that a series of Russian attacks on dozens of cities, including Kyiv, were carried out by Iranian-made Shahed-136 drones, launched from Belarus and the Crimea. Moscow has repeatedly denied their deployment, to guard its image as a giant weapons manufacturer after reports on Russia falling short of its weapons demands to fight its “special military operation” in Ukraine. For its part, the once not taken very seriously Iran denied providing Russia with drones in Ukraine.

United States, Britain and the European Union imposed fresh sanctions on Iranian officials and entities, despite Tehran and Moscow’s denials.

"It is at this conference that we need to take a decision on helping to cover Ukraine's budget deficit next year," the Ukrainian president said during a video intervention at the international conference held on Tuesday in Berlin. For his country, he added, "this is a very large sum, it is a deficit of $38 billion."

The European Union is drawing up plans to provide Ukraine with 1.5 billion euros ($1.46 billion) in monthly economic aid over the next year, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced after a summit of the 27 nations.

"The total number of that will be 18 billion for next year, which is a stable and reliable forecast," von der Leyen said at a conference in Brussels. "We have instructed the finance ministers to develop the appropriate mechanism."

It is noteworthy that the Ukrainian Ministry of Economy announced that the country's economy shrank by about 30% in the first three quarters of 2022, compared to the same period in 2021, due to the Russian attack.

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