April 13, 2023
U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, United States
Despite the continued conflict in Ukraine, the country has not been left alone to rebuild itself. Global leaders from the public and private sectors have rallied together to contribute to Ukraine’s economic recovery.
Victoria Nuland, U.S. Under Secretary for Political Affairs, spoke at the U.S.-Ukraine Partnership Forum hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to discuss the importance of global support for Ukraine, as well as how public-private partnerships will ultimately help reconstruct and modernize the nation at this critical point.
The U.S. and Its Allies Are United in Supporting Ukraine
Referencing President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address of February 2023, Nuland noted that “Putin’s invasion has been a test for the ages … for Ukraine, but also for America and for the world.”
“The question was, would we meet at this moment? Would we together defend the most basic principles of sovereignty, freedom, and democracy?” she asked.
The answer, according to Nuland, is a resounding yes.
“To quote Prime Minister Shmyhal, we are united in defense today, and we will be united in recovery,” Nuland said. “Thanks to the bipartisan support of Congress, the American people have already provided over $50 billion in military, economic, and humanitarian support — but equally importantly, we’ve helped galvanize our partners and allies around the world to do the same.”
For example, Europe has contributed a total of $50 billion to various Ukraine recovery efforts. Additionally, Europe, Asia, and other continents have welcomed millions of Ukrainian refugees.
“We are more united than ever, and we here in Washington … will continue to ensure the free world supports Ukraine for as long as it takes,” said Nuland.
Investing in Ukraine Is Investing in Our World’s Future
According to Nuland, investing in Ukraine is more than just a humanitarian calling; it’s “an investment in our own security and in our own prosperity, and the world that we and our children want to live in.”
“We’ve seen the payoffs of this kind of investment before,” she explained. “The United States made the largest foreign investment in history to rebuild Europe after World War II … and we spent decades providing support to Japan and South Korea.”
“Today, we sell half a trillion dollars worth of goods across Europe, and $150 billion worth of goods each year into Seoul and into Tokyo,” Nuland continued. “Our relationships support millions and millions of jobs here at home and in those nations, and make us all stronger.”
A Successful Recovery Will Require Public-Private Partnerships
Nuland noted that Ukraine’s road to recovery is daunting, requiring the fortification of Ukraine’s military, energy infrastructure, and government institutions, as well as rebuilding cities, towns, and businesses.
“The World Bank now estimates that reconstruction could cost $411 billion over the next decade, and that’s a conservative figure,” Nuland said. “One thing is certain: a successful recovery will require a strong and enduring cooperation and partnership between government and the private sector.”
Tackling these multifaceted issues will require ongoing collaboration between the public and private sectors, including conversations at events, such as the U.S.-Ukraine Partnership Forum.
“We have to think about all the issues … including political risk insurance to help our firms get in quickly. We also need to help deepen Ukraine’s integration with Europe and make its products a larger part of a healthy and democratic global supply chain,” she explained. “And we have to ensure Ukraine lives up to its potential as a global technology center.”
Most importantly, the work does not stop at simply rebuilding what has been destroyed, Nuland stressed. The true work will come from revitalizing Ukraine to ensure sustainable and enduring growth, so it can come back stronger than ever.
“Our shared goal must not be a Ukraine that simply survives,” Nuland closed. “It must be a Ukraine that thrives.”