Ukraine Will Build Back Better
Although it is difficult to begin thinking about rebuilding a country still at war, Western powers will need to play a central role in supporting Ukraine’s reconstruction. Committing to a Marshall Plan will be the best way to show Russian President Vladimir Putin that his brutal aggression will not be rewarded.
TORONTO – After 100 days of intense fighting, it is difficult to begin thinking about rebuilding Ukraine when Russian bombs are still raining down on innocent civilians. But it is precisely during times of crisis and disaster that we must consider what comes next. Above all, leading Western powers need to play a central role in supporting the country’s reconstruction.
To that end, the European Commission recently proposed establishing a “Rebuild Ukraine” facility to channel grants and loans to the country. But Ukraine’s large financial needs will require the European Union to identify new funding sources, which should include the Russian central bank’s frozen foreign-exchange reserves, as well as funds previously confiscated from Russian state enterprises and assets seized from sanctioned Russian oligarchs.
Reconstruction experts recommend looking at the rebuilding task through the lens of a natural disaster such as an earthquake or a flood. In the initial triage phase of the response, the government needs to stop the bleeding – as Ukraine is doing. That means fighting back and ejecting the Russian invaders from the entire country, including the occupied Donbas region and Crimea.