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Michel: We will help you restore Ukraine, starting from today you are not alone

WARSAW/BRUSSELS. May 5 (Interfax-Ukraine) – President of the European Council Charles Michel said that with the European Marshall Plan for Ukraine, the international community will help, starting today, to restore Ukraine, which will take its place in the European family in the future.

Speaking at an International Donor’s Conference to raise funds for Ukraine against which Russia is waging war, in Warsaw on Thursday, the President of the European Council recalled that a few weeks ago, together with Volodymyr Zelensky, he discussed the idea of ​​​​a solidarity trust fund for Ukraine, after which EU leaders decided such a fund support. "This is a concrete expression of our commitment to Ukraine together with the help and support of external donors and our solidarity efforts will focus on three key areas: humanitarian support, short-term liquidity needs, and reconstruction. And we must act now to address the immediate suffering of the Ukrainian people in and outside of Ukraine. That is why priority number one is to raise money for this humanitarian action," Michel said.

He also noted that there is "another urgent need – liquidity." "Ukraine needs significant funding to keep the state running – roughly EUR 5 billion per month according to the IMF. We are mobilized and disburse macro-financial assistance together with our friends and partners. But we must not be complacent we must do much more to deliver practical support now, immediately, to make ensure that nurses, doctors, teachers can be paid at time and Ukraine continues to function," the President of the European Council said.

Michel also recalled the Marshall Plan, which was used after the Second World War to rebuild Europe. "I believe that the Solidarity Fund can be and must be the starting point of the European Marshall Plan for this century and the engine of the directory for the renewal and reconstruction of Ukraine for the prosperity of Europe and for the transatlantic Alliance," he said.

The President of the European Council also addressed all Ukrainians with a "personal message of hope and encouragement." "We will help to rebuild your country and your economy, your homes, schools, hospitals, businesses, the future of a safe and prosperous Ukraine, combining with reconstruction funding with the necessary reforms. This is not just a long-term theoretical vision – where construction starts today. We trust Ukraine and our efforts here today we reflect that trust. We will rebuild a modern and prosperous Ukraine, a country full of confidence, ready to embrace its European future and take its place in our common European family," Michel said, assuring that the EU "supports Ukraine in its choice of a European path."

In conclusion, he spoke about how, during his last visit to Ukraine, he visited Borodianka and saw a bust of the famous Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko, who was shot in the head by a Russian soldier. "They tried to execute a Ukrainian poet just like they are trying to execute Ukraine. But they were not succeeded and will not be succeed. The statue is still there standing. This is a proudly defined symbol just as Ukraine continues to stand proudly and unbreakable. And we are in the EU together with our friends – we are with you, you are not alone," Michel said.