Does Kyiv Need a Marshall Plan?

Top policymakers discuss how to rebuild Ukraine.

By , the executive producer of FP Live at Foreign Policy.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks to the press in Bucha, Ukraine, on April 4.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks to the press in Bucha, Ukraine, on April 4.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks to the press in Bucha, Ukraine, on April 4. RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP via Getty Images

BRUSSELS—Russia’s war in Ukraine has now entered its fifth month—and there’s no end in sight. The country’s infrastructure has all but been destroyed, millions of refugees will need to be resettled, and systems for health care and education may need to be completely overhauled. To find ways to rebuild the country and discuss whether Ukraine needs the equivalent of a Marshall Plan once the war ends, the German Marshall Fund of the United States convened a panel of top thinkers on Monday, June 27, at its annual Brussels Forum.

The discussion, titled “A Marshall Plan for Ukraine,” was moderated by Foreign Policy’s editor in chief, Ravi Agrawal, who kicked off the session with a one-on-one interview with Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Olga Stefanishyna. Stefanishyna called for economic sanctions on Russia to be enforced in a more systemic and severe way. She said a Marshall Plan for Ukraine would consist of two major elements: financial and economic support throughout the war and postwar reconstruction that would be based on Ukraine’s integration into the European Union.

During the wider panel discussion, U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, who recently introduced a resolution in Congress condemning Russian actions in Ukraine as a genocide, said infrastructure in Ukraine would need to be rebuilt first and that private sector investment would follow. Asked what he would say to Europeans concerned about the return of Donald Trump as U.S. president, he answered, “Trump will not be back in power,” adding that he believed the elders of the Republican Party would see to it to find a “cogent and sane” person to run against him.

BRUSSELS—Russia’s war in Ukraine has now entered its fifth month—and there’s no end in sight. The country’s infrastructure has all but been destroyed, millions of refugees will need to be resettled, and systems for health care and education may need to be completely overhauled. To find ways to rebuild the country and discuss whether Ukraine needs the equivalent of a Marshall Plan once the war ends, the German Marshall Fund of the United States convened a panel of top thinkers on Monday, June 27, at its annual Brussels Forum.

The discussion, titled “A Marshall Plan for Ukraine,” was moderated by Foreign Policy’s editor in chief, Ravi Agrawal, who kicked off the session with a one-on-one interview with Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Olga Stefanishyna. Stefanishyna called for economic sanctions on Russia to be enforced in a more systemic and severe way. She said a Marshall Plan for Ukraine would consist of two major elements: financial and economic support throughout the war and postwar reconstruction that would be based on Ukraine’s integration into the European Union.

During the wider panel discussion, U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, who recently introduced a resolution in Congress condemning Russian actions in Ukraine as a genocide, said infrastructure in Ukraine would need to be rebuilt first and that private sector investment would follow. Asked what he would say to Europeans concerned about the return of Donald Trump as U.S. president, he answered, “Trump will not be back in power,” adding that he believed the elders of the Republican Party would see to it to find a “cogent and sane” person to run against him.

Martin Klus, Slovakia’s deputy foreign minister, speaking on behalf of a neighboring country that has received hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian refugees, said Ukraine should prepare its private and public sectors for the reconstruction process and partial integration into the EU.

Pressed on specific steps the European community would need to put in place, Odile Renaud-Basso, the president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, said the reconstruction of Ukraine would require money, a lot of coordination, and the continued transformation of a country that has suffered from a weak judicial system, oligarchs running rampant, and corruption. She said those issues would need to be clearly addressed in the context of postwar reconstruction and that Ukrainian integration into the EU would drive that transformation.

To watch a recap of the discussion, click here.

 

Tal Alroy is the executive producer of FP Live at Foreign Policy.

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