The superyachts and mansions of the oligarchs must help fund a new Ukraine


One point, however, is certain. It will be a heck of a lot of money. Indeed, it should be turned into reparations (and even better, a lot of it is Putin’s money).

A joint investment committee established by the EU, US, UK and Japan should maximize the value of these assets and use them to rebuild the roads, bridges and buildings destroyed during the war.

Next, stabilize the currency. Nobody really knows what the Ukrainian hryvnia is worth right now or how the country will even repay its debts.

From its mines to its sprawling fields of wheat and sunflowers, Ukraine abounds in resources, but these are useless without a stable currency and a functioning banking system, and no economy can recover if shortages create runaway inflation. .

An immediate priority is a loan and grant package that keeps the hryvnia stable.

Third, remove all tariffs. The economy is going to need a lot of rebuilding, and it wasn’t in fantastic shape to begin with. (The GDP per capita of Ukraine was just $3,700 before the war, compared to $15,600 for neighboring Poland, even though they started in similar places when the Soviet Union collapsed. )

It must start developing its own domestic industries, and it will be much easier if it can export to the EU, Britain, the United States and the rest of the world without any quotas or tariffs. prevents it. Surprisingly, the EU still has a series of levies on Ukrainian agriculture, mainly to protect French and Spanish farmers. These should be swept away immediately.

Finally, the tax cuts. Businesses are being offered tax breaks for all sorts of things, from investing in research and development to reducing their carbon footprint.

Why not offer a tax advantage for investing in Ukraine? With a strategic location between wealthy Europe and booming Asia, it is a natural hub for manufacturing and distribution. With the abolition of customs duties and quotas, it would be even more attractive.

If companies could deduct the cost of a new factory outside Lviv, or a warehouse on the outskirts of kyiv, from their corporate tax bill, investment would start flowing into the country.

Revisionist historians are always happy to debate the influence of the Marshall Plan on the reconstruction of Western Europe after World War II. No doubt, many other factors played a role in its rapid recovery. And yet, there is no doubt that it helped. It was a vote of confidence in the future of the continent.

A Marshall Plan for Ukraine could achieve something very similar.

It would be a statement of intent, backed by dollars, euros, yen and pounds.

And perhaps most of all, a growing, enterprising and free Ukraine will be a painful contrast to the increasingly impoverished, corrupt and isolated gangster state across the border.

But the work must start now, just as World War Two leaders began planning for the post-war world long before the fighting ended – and the UK should lead the way.

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