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Who must pay for russia’s war?

The financial damage to Ukraine from russia’s war is estimated at hundreds of billions USD and rising.

The Western assistance to Ukraine is expressed in tens of billions USD and rising.

However, this so called “assistance” is not for free. Most of it is in the form of loans, which will have to be paid back.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s total government debt reached 145 billion USD in 2023 or about 90% of GDP and rising.

The future reconstruction will require enormous investments.

Who must pay for all those expenses?

The obvious answer is: the aggressor state, that is the russian federation. The russians will certainly pay in the long run, for all their innumerable crimes. However, the exact timeframe for Ukraine’s victory is not yet clear. The future reparations are yet to be determined in international courts with their very lengthy procedures. The frozen russian assets are still untouched, which speaks volumes about pecuniary priorities of capitalism over its alleged democratic values.

The collective West bears part of responsibility for this war. First, because of its decades-long infatuation with moscow that blinded a critical look at this terrorist state. Second, because it took away nuclear weapons and its carriers from Ukraine and gave them to russia. Third, because of its indifference and inactivity in 2008 and 2014, and its criminal procrastination about providing Ukraine with all necessary weapons since February 2022. Fourth, because this russian war is waged against all Western democracies, which they know and acknowledge.

The longer the West allows this war to continue, the more it will have to pay for its consequences. Ukraine defends directly all of Europe and, indirectly, the United States, against the russian army of thugs. Ukraine is the moral leader of the modern free world. The West cannot afford withholding its support for Ukraine. Ukraine’s cost and the brunt of the war is much higher than any amount of money that it will ever receive from its Western partners. Ukraine owes the West nothing. The West owes Ukraine everything.

So, there are two possible outcomes:

Either the West wakes up and helps Ukraine crush the russian empire as swiftly as possible. All the russian money abroad will be given immediately to Ukraine. All the funds that Ukraine has received from all of its foreign creditors since 2014 must be written off, or those funds will be included as part of the future russian reparations for Ukraine, officially endorsed by international courts.

Or the West continues to “manage escalation” and pay for this inadequate and short-sighted policy for many decades to come.  

Oleksandr Aleksandrovych, Ambassador-at-large Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, specially for the Kyiv Security Forum.

© Arseniy Yatsenyuk Charity Foundation "Open Ukraine"
locationUkraine, Kyiv, 01001
Kyiv Security Forum
Arseniy Yatsenyuk Foundation
© Arseniy Yatsenyuk Charity Foundation "Open Ukraine"