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4 Jul, 2022 11:35 

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UK wants to rebuild Ukraine with Russian money

The effort could be funded through assets seized from Moscow, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has said

Liz Truss © Getty Images / Christopher Furlong

The UK will host a conference on Ukraine’s recovery next year, as the nation’s conflict with Moscow continues, the British Foreign Office has announced.

This year’s Ukraine Recovery Conference opens on Monday in Lugano, Switzerland. Britain plans to take a place on next year’s supervisory board and coordinate efforts between Kiev and other countries to rebuild the nation, with an office expected to be set up in London.

“We have led on support for Ukraine during the war and will continue to lead in supporting the Ukrainian Government’s Reconstruction and Development Plan,” UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss’ statement prepared for the Lugano conference says.

Meanwhile, the UK intends to follow Canada’s lead and seize Russian assets in the country, and use them to support Kiev, according to Truss.

Speaking to Parliament last week, she said the money should be distributed to those who have suffered from the fighting in Ukraine.

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“This is an issue that we are working on jointly with the Home Office and the Treasury, but I certainly agree with the concept. We just need to get the specifics of it right,” she told MPs.

The foreign secretary added that new legislation “most probably, but not necessarily”would be required to achieve this goal. Citing the example of Canada, Truss referred to the Canadian Senate’s decision in late June to empower the authorities to confiscate and sell assets seized from Russia after the launch of its military operation in Ukraine.

The UK has frozen the assets of a number of Russian tycoons, airlines, and Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank.

Last week, the G7 group announced it would continue to support Ukraine and explore “viable options” to meet Kiev’s needs in humanitarian aid and reconstruction, “including using frozen Russian assets.”

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