The EU’s planned reconstruction efforts of Ukraine: A game changer?

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Publication Date 13/11/2023
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Russia’s attack on Ukraine on February 24, 2022, came largely as a surprise to the world community. Following a few weeks of wrangled diplomacy seeking to halt the descent into carnal chaos, Ukraine entered into the abyss of warring hostilities with Russia, which would take with it the entire set-up of the European political economic order as it evolved in the 2000s. No longer would cheap Russian gas fuel the German economy, the growth engine of the European Union (EU) and its strongest member, nor would extensive financial investments from private companies into Russia continue, being replaced by forced nationalisations of Western companies in Russia and the retreat of most, if not all firms from that country.

In this situation of dismal surprise, the unity and resolve of the EU and its member states has been tested and, to the surprise of many, if not most observers, the EU actually held together a rather coherent set of foreign policies, allowing a series of sanctions on the Russian economy. While not being lethal, these sanctions still managed to extract a toll on the latter, its most important elements, the shutdown of most gas and fuel exports from Russia to the EU, exempting only its most dependent members. Furthermore, the EU and its member states, in conjunction with its allies in NATO extended military and financial support to Ukraine and opened its borders to Ukrainian refugees. In 2023, the EU is hosting more than 3.5 million Ukrainian war refugees and has overall pledged or extended more than 76 billion Euros in macro-financial and refugee assistance as well as military aid.

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