© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A local resident stands near an apartment building damaged during Ukraine-Russia conflict in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine April 4, 2022. REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko/File Photo
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Ukraine will need a reconstruction plan after the war with Russia similar to the one the United States offered to Europe after the Second World War, European Budget Commissioner Johannes Hahn said on Wednesday.
Under the post-World War Two U.S. scheme known as the Marshall Plan, the United States granted Europe the present-day equivalent of some $200 billion over four years in economic and technical assistance.
“I think that what we need for Ukraine, at the end of the day, is an updated model of the Marshall Plan,” Hahn told a news briefing.
Hahn said it would help Ukraine recover quickly, rather than over decades, from the massive destruction by the Russian army and would lead to a faster convergence of Ukraine with the European Union.
Kyiv has applied to become a formal candidate to join the 27 nation bloc. Even in peacetime that process is long, and it has been made almost impossible by the war raging in the country.
Hahn did not give any estimate of how much money could be needed, but said the effort of rebuilding Ukraine could not be shouldered by Europe alone and that probably G20 countries would have to participate, including Russia.
Hahn reiterated that for now the EU was not planning to start another joint borrowing scheme to deal with the economic and social consequences for the bloc of the war in Ukraine.
He noted that there was still plenty unused for cheap loans in the EU’s recovery fund that governments could request. He said that of the total 380 billion euros of cheap loans available in the fund, governments have so far asked for only 166 billion, leaving 214 billion euros still available.
He also said that to cover some expenses related to dealing with millions of Ukrainian refugees who fled to EU countries since the war started on Feb 24, member nations could use some of the funds allotted to them under the 2021-2027 EU budget.
Ukraine needs new Marshall Plan after Russian invasion – EU Commission