Ukraine war: Schulze in Kiev – interlocutor unexpectedly fired

Ukraine war: Schulze in Kiev – interlocutor unexpectedly fired

The development minister traveled 16 hours by plane, car and train to Kiev to assure Ukraine of further reconstruction aid. But an unpleasant surprise awaits them there.

Development Minister Svenja Schulze’s visit to Ukraine was overshadowed by the completely surprising removal of her most important interlocutor. Immediately after their arrival in Kiev, the deputy prime minister responsible for reconstruction, Olexander Kubrakow, was fired by parliament.

He was actually supposed to prepare, together with Schulze, the reconstruction conference on June 11th and 12th in Berlin, which is so important for Ukraine. The SPD politician reacted with disappointment: “That’s really not good news.”

She said she found the cancellation “personally very, very sad.” Above all, Kubrakow was very committed to fighting corruption and was very successful. “And we pushed forward many of the projects together with him.”

Dove of peace to say goodbye to the fired deputy prime minister

The development minister actually wanted to meet Kubrakow as soon as she arrived. Because of the surprising turn of events, the fired deputy prime minister was only able to give her a necklace with a white dove of peace as a gift, which she then wore during her visit.

Schulze could not say what would happen next with the reconstruction conference. “It’s just a shame because it’s now very close and we’ve prepared everything very intensively together with him and his team.” This process will now continue. “But of course the personal contact and the trusting relationship you built up are now gone.”

Around 1,500 participants are expected at the conference in Berlin – including heads of state and government. In preparation, Schulze took part in a “summit of cities and regions” in Kiev, at which President Volodymyr Zelenskyj also spoke. The head of state welcomed Schulze. But there was no longer any room for a conversation with him that was originally planned.

Kubrakow has been deputy prime minister since 2022

Kubrakow (41) has been Minister for Infrastructure since 2021 and Deputy Prime Minister since 2022. He wrote on Facebook that Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal and the faction of the Servant of the People presidential party had not discussed these decisions with him.

Various assumptions were circulating in Kiev about the background to the surprising dismissal. Regional development was neglected in the oversized ministry, wrote MP Vitaly Beshin on Facebook, for example. “This directly harms Ukraine’s European integration.” The parliamentarians took offense at the deputy prime minister’s statement after Russian attacks on thermal power plants in April that his ministry could not also ensure the protection of these large plants. Zelensky announced at the end of March that there could be reshuffles in the Ukrainian leadership.

45 million euros for the renovation of the power grid

But Schulze didn’t have to travel home without having accomplished anything. During their visit, the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau signed a contract for grants worth 45 million for the renovation of the power grid. “Ukraine can only survive in war and rebuild with a functioning electricity supply,” said the minister. In recent weeks, Russia has deliberately bombed the energy infrastructure. “Russia cannot and will not be successful with this.”

Schulze: Doctors are just as important as tanks

The visit also focused on training skilled workers. “The doctors and the electricians are at least as important as the tanks,” said Schulze. Ukrainians were rebuilding their country every day. “It is very important that there is not only support for weapons, but also support for civil development.” The Berlin conference will, among other things, focus on how small and medium-sized companies can be supported and how skilled workers can be found for reconstruction.

Germany is considered Europe’s largest military, financial and humanitarian supporter of Ukraine, which was attacked by Russia. The Ukrainian government believes that if the war were to end now, rebuilding the country would take another five to ten years. At the beginning of the year, the World Bank, the European Union and the United Nations estimated the war damage caused so far at 500 billion euros.

Source: Stern

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