Concept of economic Ramstein group for Ukraine still stalled – EBRD Deputy Executive Director Shevalev

Concept of economic Ramstein group for Ukraine still stalled – EBRD Deputy Executive Director Shevalev

Ukraine urgently needs to form an economic Ramstein group to coordinate international financial assistance, as well as its increase and acceleration, by analogy with the established Ramstein Contact Group for Defense of Ukraine, Alternate Board Director of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Artem Shevalev has said.

“A question of coordination. In fact, the concept of economic or financial Ramstein has been brewing somewhere since May and, to be honest, I don’t see much progress,” Shevalev said at a discussion organized by the Centre for Economic Strategy (CES) on Tuesday.

He added that in this regard, the weak level of responsibility, first of all, on the part of European colleagues is rather “shocking and upsetting.”

As examples, Shevalev cited the impossibility to reach the declared level of financing of the Ukrainian budget of $5 billion in five months, or the inability of the Ministry of Finance of one of the G7 countries to prepare documents for the provision of $50 million in financing within four months.

“It’s all from the same chain – the inability to transform political slogans into the final executive work. We urgently need to form the economic Ramstein group, we must move to constant contacts with our colleagues from the G7 and other key European countries,” the representative of Ukraine to the EBRD said.

Vladyslav Rashkovan, Alternate Executive Director at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), who participated in the discussion, supported the idea of the economic Ramstein group.

“In principle, I am not opposed to the IMF or the World Bank being such an economic Ramstein. But it seems to me that the G7 should be the center – because it, through its representatives in the IMF, the World Bank, and the EBRD , can influence not politically, but through the system of (making) decisions in these institutions,” Rashkovan said.

Another argument in favor of the G7, he called the fact that the EBRD, the World Bank, and the IMF provide loans, while Ukraine, taking into account the required amount of financing, needs not loans, but grants.

Shevalev from the EBRD, commenting on the idea of the leading role of the G7, indicated that these are seven countries, and taking into account the European Commission – actually eight players, which again creates risks.

“For example, the United States sees the situation from its side, and the European Commission sees it from its own. Berlin, Paris or London have their own agenda – I still don’t know how to bring everything together. It seems to me that Ukraine cannot do without a certain level of leadership. And we should, perhaps, raise this issue more strictly, but there should be a certain professionalism,” the representative of Ukraine in the EBRD said.

According to him, it is necessary for everyone to think together how to bring this coordination to a new level.

Shevalev said that the next timeline is an international expert conference on the restoration of Ukraine scheduled for October 25 in Berlin, which will, to a certain extent, be a continuation of the conference in Lugano, held in early July.

“We have a little more than a month, we need to gather everyone and say that there should be absolutely specific expectations and results. In Lugano, problems were voiced, as if everyone had said the right things. Unfortunately, in many areas there was no progress, as a rule, from our Western partners,” the Alternate Board Director of the EBRD said.


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