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Kyiv asks IMF, World Bank for more aid

Update : 13 Apr 2023, 13:37

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called for Russia's frozen assets to be made available to help Ukraine rebuild. Meanwhile, the US has imposed sanctions on 120 more targets. 

Janet Yellen, the Treasury Secretary of the United States, called upon the international community to continue supporting Ukraine in meeting its financial needs during Russia's ongoing war.

She was speaking at a meeting with top representatives of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank to discuss assistance for Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who participated in the meeting via videolink, appealed for a concrete mechanism to be established to use Moscow's frozen assets to compensate for the damage caused by Russia.

In March, the World Bank, along with the Ukrainian government and the European Commission, estimated that at least €411 billion ($451 billion) would be needed for Ukraine's reconstruction and recovery over the next 10 years. Ukraine requires €14 billion for urgent reconstruction investments this year alone, with a financing gap of around €11 billion, according to the World Bank.

The institution also announced a plan to provide $200 million to help Ukraine repair its energy and heating infrastructure, while other partners will contribute an additional $300 million as the project expands.

The funds will be used for emergency repairs to Ukraine's transition transformers, mobile heat boilers, and other critical equipment, said the statement released by the World Bank. 

The country's energy infrastructure has incurred $11 billion in damage over the past year, making it one of the most critical areas in need of urgent support, according to Anna Bjerde, Managing Director of Operations at the World Bank. Power outages resulting from the damage to the infrastructure have contributed to food, heating, and water shortages. 

Here are some of the other notable developments concerning Russia's war in Ukraine on Thursday, April 13:

US imposes sanctions on 120 targets
The United States imposed sanctions on more than 120 targets to put pressure on Russia for its aggression against Ukraine.

The sanctions target entities linked to state-held energy company Rosatom and firms based in partner nations like Turkey, as well as a Russian private military company, a China-based firm, and a Russian-owned bank in Hungary.

The Treasury and State departments, in concert with Britain, imposed the sanctions on entities and individuals in over 20 nations, including Russian financial facilitators and sanctions evaders around the world.

One of the main targets was Russian billionaire businessman Alisher Usmanov, described by the Treasury as having "at his disposal a wide network of businesses in financial safe havens and family members through which to conduct financial transactions, enabling him to potentially circumvent sanctions."

Ukraine denies Russia's Wagner Bakhmut claim
Ukraine and Russia traded accusations about how much control the Kremlin's forces have over the city of Bakhmut, which has been a focal point of Moscow's attempt to advance through eastern Ukraine.

According to Ukraine's military, it controls "considerably" more than 20% of the city, refuting Russian entrepreneur Yevgeny Prigozhin's claim that his Wagner mercenary group had seized more than 80% of Bakhmut.

However, Russia's Defense Ministry responded by stating that Wagner forces had captured three city blocks and that Russian forces had struck Ukrainian army reserves trying to break through.

Serhiy Cherevatyi, spokesperson for Ukraine's eastern military command, dismissed Prigozhin's latest 80% claim in a comment to Reuters news agency.

Britain confirms $500 million in loan guarantees to Ukraine
British Finance Minister Jeremy Hunt announced that Britain is prepared to provide an additional $500 million (€455 million) in loan guarantees to Ukraine, bringing the total amount this year to $1 billion.

According to Hunt, the British loan guarantees were crucial in supporting a larger $15.6 billion (€14.2 billion) four-year package of assistance for Ukraine from the IMF.

"This funding will enhance Ukraine's economic resilience and strengthen its resistance against Russia," Hunt said in a statement.

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