Ukraine conference in Lugano: focus on the future
At a two-day conference in Switzerland that was originally intended to focus on anti-corruption, delegates from Ukraine consulted with international partners about the reconstruction of the country when Russia's war of aggression ends. Kyiv estimates that at least 720 billion euros will be needed. More than 40 states and international organisations promised their help in the Lugano Declaration.
All set for a new Ukraine
The Neue Zürcher Zeitung explains:
“In view of the war, it may be a little ambitious for EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to already envisage a sustainable, climate-neutral, corruption-free Ukraine with well-functioning institutions emerging in the aftermath of the conflict. Nevertheless, she is right in calling for the establishment of an independent platform to ensure transparency and coordinate foreign aid at an early stage. ... This is what Lugano is all about. Fortunately, the reform plan put forward by the Ukrainian government at the conference also shows that it is ready for change. ... It seems serious about reform and the dream of a new Ukraine. We should take it at its word.”
Problems should not be glossed over
The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung dampens expectations:
“Even in areas that Ukraine was able to reconquer there is no guarantee that new Russian attacks will not destroy what was built with Western money. No one can really say today which parts of Ukraine will remain independent, which sets narrow limits for planning. And it's easier to decide in Lugano than in Kyiv that Ukraine will become a green-democratic model country. The problems with corruption and oligarchs should not be glossed over; Western tax money should not disappear into dark channels.”