‘Ukraine needs $7 billion every month to keep functioning’: President Volodymyr Zelensky

Ukraine’s president has told the world’s finance ministers his country needs $7 billion every month until the summer to keep functioning.

Volodymyr Zelensky also said “we will need hundreds of billions of dollars to rebuild all this later”.

He was addressing an International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank conference via video link from Kyiv.

The World Bank has estimated that about $60 billion of physical damage has so far been inflicted on Ukraine.

Mr Zelensky also said the global community needed to exclude Russia immediately from international financial institutions, including the World Bank, IMF and others.

All countries “must immediately be prepared to break up all relations with Russia,” he added.

Asked whether the IMF would be able to secure the immediate funding that Ukraine needs, the organisation’s managing director Kristalina Georgieva said: “We found it for the first and second month.

“We believe that over time this amount is going to go down as the Ukrainian economy in the parts of the country that are not under occupation picks up, and as remittances from those who now work somewhere else start flowing.”

Meanwhile, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Russia should be made to pay some of the cost of rebuilding Ukraine after the war.

It came as some nations have called for seized Russian assets to be used to fund the country’s reconstruction.

However, Ms Yellen cautioned that using seized Russian central bank reserves in the US to rebuild Ukraine would be a “significant step” that would need discussions and agreement with international partners.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, who attended the conference in person, said the country’s economic output could decline by as much as 50%, with direct and indirect losses so far totalling $560 billion.