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UBBC attends Berlin reconstruction conference during week of action for Ukraine:‘United in defence. United in recovery. Stronger together.”

In a landmark week for Ukraine, UBBC members Christophe Michels, UBBC MD and Founder Member Manuela Gato of ZHA, attended the Berlin Ukraine second reconstruction conference.


Lead by President Zelinsky an array of Ministers and regional officials including Dmytro Kuleba, Foreign Minister, Yuliia Svyrdenko, DPM and Minister of the Economy, Serhiy Marchenko, Finance Minister, the Mayor of Kiev, Vitali Klitschko, the mayors of Kharkiv, Lviv spoke. From Europe German PM Sholtz and notable international figures Ursula von der Leyen, Mark Rutte, PM of the Netherlands, Nas Ghani, David Cameron, and assistants to US secretaries of state.

 

Amid a raft of announcements, the conference presented the range of challenges and collaborations taking place among the European and US, allied nations and G7 partners this week: Significantly President Biden signed a 10-year security agreement between the US and Ukraine, while participating countries committed to long term support of both civil and defence capabilities, leaving Russia in no doubt as to western resolve.


Beyond the conference, further Dollar, Euro, and Sterling sanctions have been imposed on Russian banks, who are now dependant on Chinese Yuan for foreign currency exchange, and most have now seen significant withdrawal of funds and a run-on Russian banks. The G7 also agreed to provide Ukraine with $50bn loan facility based on Russian frozen asset interests.

 

On the upside, Ukraine has managed to open the Black Sea ports and export 51.3 mt of freight (grain cargo 34.8mt other cargo16.5 mt) and restore 40, 335 of the 218,000 facilities destroyed. While The Digital Restoration Ecosystem for Accountable Management (DREAM) has seen 4864 projects uploaded and is not just a state digital platform for implementing restoration projects. It’s a powerful tool that underscores our unwavering commitment to transparency and accountability across all sectors.

 

The conference saw Europe’s leaders commit to further defence, civil engineering, energy, and investment support – including Scholtz of Germany (E30bn), Rutter of the Netherlands (E17bn) and David Cameron of UK ( 2.5% defence spending) and a further $500m on humanitarian support and demining. While the initial E100bn commitment has been spent, weapons are now being produced in Ukraine and a long-term financial commitment needs to be secured.


The key challenge now is to repair and develop the damaged energy supply before the winter, which is running at around half its capability. Gas, renewable and repair projects are underway, as engineers scour Europe for parts and generators. But there is a focus on building back green, and ensuring the grid connects to EU producers, while also strengthening defence. The news from Kharkiv is better and the Russian advance appears to have stalled, while Ukraine is also knocking out defence systems and ships in Crimea.

Ukraine now produces as many shells a month as it did in a year (20,000pm), and there are over 200 drone production companies operating with over 50 times more deliveries than in 2023.


In July, the University twinning programme will reconvene in Warsaw to expand collaborations between UK and UKR universities – UBBC will be there with Bath Spa university.


UBBC will also be hosting an online lawyer webinar on the benefits of working with lawyers in Ukraine potentially July 8th (tbc).


Christophe Michels commented’ Western nations demonstrated very strong public support for Ukraine. It was clear that the EU was playing a leading role in most talks and that Ukraine pursues its membership as a top priority’

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