Reconstruction after the war: Von der Leyen wants to use Russian funds for Ukraine

Western states have frozen funds from the Russian state, but also from oligarchs.

Reconstruction after the war: Von der Leyen wants to use Russian funds for Ukraine

Western states have frozen funds from the Russian state, but also from oligarchs. According to the EU Commission President, they could be used to build up Ukraine. "We will do everything in our power to help Ukraine," says von der Leyen.

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen spoke out in favor of using confiscated Russian funds for the reconstruction of Ukraine. "We should turn every stone for this - if possible also Russian assets that we have frozen," said the top German politician. It is about repairing the damage caused by Russian President Vladimir Putin's destructive fury and shaping Ukraine's future according to the wishes of its citizens.

According to von der Leyen, the aim of the world community should be a defeat for Russia. "Ukraine must win this war. And Putin's aggression must turn out to be a strategic failure," she said. "We will do everything in our power to help Ukraine assert itself and take the future back into its own hands." Ukraine is part of the "European family" and we are dealing with a crucial moment for all democracies in the world.

Von der Leyen also drew parallels to the Soviet era with regard to the Russian handling of grain in Ukraine. "In Russian-occupied Ukraine, the Kremlin's army is confiscating grain stocks and machinery," she said. "This reminds some of a dark past - the times of Soviet confiscation of crops and devastating famine of the 1930s." Moscow is not only using the energy supply as a weapon, a similar pattern is emerging in food security. Russia is deliberately bombing grain stores in Ukraine and blockading Ukrainian ships carrying wheat and sunflower seeds in the Black Sea.

Added to this is the fact that Russia is hoarding its own food "as a form of blackmail," says von der Leyen. Deliveries have been halted to push up world prices and wheat is being traded against geopolitical support. "There is only one thought behind this: Russia uses hunger and grain to exert power," said the Commission President.

As a result, wheat prices shot up worldwide. Vulnerable countries and vulnerable populations are most affected. For example, bread prices in Lebanon have risen by 70 percent. "The signs of a growing food crisis are clearly visible." The answer must be European and global, said von der Leyen. Europe is working on getting the blocked grain from Ukraine onto the market. In addition, the company's own production will be increased. And Africa will be supported in reducing its dependency on imports.

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