Lugano Reconstruction Summit: Putin is already the winner – because the West will pay – politics


©Reuters/Michael Buholzer

Gerd Appenzeller

In order to rebuild Ukraine, the West will have to raise huge sums of money. On the other hand, Russia will not be running out of money for armaments any time soon. Suspension.

In Lugano, Switzerland, where the world appears to be particularly healthy, 40 countries and international organizations discussed what a reconstruction program for Ukraine might look like. It was not a donor conference in the traditional sense of the word. It was about the political framework.

It is feared that this conference has lost the facts. Now one can object that new things can only be created if there is a vision. And, of course, Ukraine deserves every support in its remarkable resistance to Russian incursion. One fact that supporters of Ukraine need to understand is that Russia is profiting from the war.

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The Russian military has turned a dynamic neighboring country into ruins and may have re-developed it many years back. It not only wanted to destroy Ukraine militarily, politically and economically, as European Union President Ursula von der Leyen stated, but also tried to erase its cultural identity.

Another official war objective is the annexation of Donbass, eastern Ukraine, which Moscow has declared as liberation. Even if there was a political stalemate at the end of this conflict that was achieved through negotiations, as is now the case in Crimea, which has been annexed since 2014, it would be an illusion to think that Russia would simply vacate these areas if it had not been severely weakened militarily before .

Reconstruction needs a trillion euros

In Lugano, the Ukrainian government put forward the thesis that the assets confiscated from the Russian oligarchs around the world could be used to raise 750 billion euros for the reconstruction of the country. That this could work is a fantasy.

In fact, the reconstruction of Ukraine needs more than 1000-1500 billion, and the Western industrial countries will have to collect such a huge amount. But this means that financiers lack exactly this money to develop their infrastructure – and we see how deteriorating it is every day.

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So Russia is a double winner. It weakens Ukraine and the West. Having a lot of money in armaments is not in itself a problem. Putin’s empire is a dictatorship in which citizens cannot revolt against the leadership and are kept in a state of perpetual immaturity by propaganda.

Putin has unlimited money to arm

Putin is in the process of obtaining an absolute mandate from the State Duma. To bolster the military, he can then claim unlimited money without further legitimacy.

There will always be money for this purpose and for social relief from the consequences of war, for example to support war widows or war orphans. After all, Putin can sell Russian gas and oil all over the world even if the West is no longer buying it.

Unless the Western world wants to lose all credibility, it cannot accept Putin’s return to the world of international talks. It’s not about banning Russia – it’s about obstructing the Putin regime. It’s totally normal about self-esteem.

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