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Allies pledge over $1 billion to support Ukraine throughout winter
Following the “In solidarity with the Ukrainian people" conference in Paris on Dec. 13, French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna announced that some 70 countries and international organizations will send over $1 billion in aid to support Ukraine in winter amid Russia’s mass missile attacks on the country’s critical infrastructure.
According to Colonna, the funds will cover restoring Ukraine’s energy sector and the food sector, water supply, health, and transportation. She added that $520 million of funding was yet to be allocated.
The statement came after President Volodymyr Zelensky virtually addressed the conference, calling on allies to allocate additional aid to support Ukraine’s critical infrastructure this winter amid Russia’s continuous mass missile strikes.
He estimated the cost of electricity supply support at around 800 million euros ($843 million), saying, “this is significant but significantly less than what a blackout in Ukraine could cost us all.”
According to Zelensky, Ukraine needs various equipment such as transformers, gas turbines, gas piston power units, and equipment for restoring high-voltage networks. The country also requires support in purchasing about two billion cubic meters of gas.
Since Oct. 10, Moscow has unleashed six large-scale strikes targeting Ukraine’s energy sector, killing dozens of civilians and causing emergency blackouts across the country.
Russia has fired over 1,000 missiles and loitering munitions at energy infrastructure nationwide over the last two months, Volodymyr Kudrytsky, CEO of Ukraine’s state grid operator Ukrenergo, said on Dec. 9.
The most recent nationwide attack on Ukraine occurred on Dec. 5, killing four and hitting energy sites in at least three regions.
On Dec. 13, the state grid operator Ukrenergo said that Ukraine still faces a significant power deficit following Russia’s attacks, and frigid weather complicates the work for repair crews.