Doctors are as important as tanks

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Written By Kampretz Bianca

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Svenja Schulze (SPD), Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, in front of Russian tanks that were captured by Ukraine during her visit to Ukraine. /image alliance, Michael Fischer

Kiev – Federal Minister for Development Svenja Schulze (SPD) arrived in Kiev for a previously unannounced visit to assure the country, which was badly hit by the Russian war of aggression, of more support for reconstruction.

Their talks today in the Ukrainian capital will include, among other things, the expansion of the Ukrainian electricity grid with German help and the training of skilled workers. “Doctors and electricians are at least as important as tanks,” Schulze said upon his arrival at the Kiev railway station.

The visit serves as preparation for the major reconstruction conference, for which around 1,500 participants are expected in Berlin on June 11th and 12th – including heads of state and government. The SPD politician participates in a “summit of cities and regions” in the Ukrainian capital.

“People here are rebuilding their country every day, they are not giving up,” Schulze said in Kiev. “It is very important that there is not only support for weapons, but also support for civil reconstruction.” The Berlin conference will, among other things, focus on how small and medium-sized businesses are supported and how qualified workers are found for reconstruction.” could become.

Germany is considered Europe’s biggest military, financial and humanitarian supporter of Ukraine, which was attacked by Russia. Schulze has been there twice since the Russian invasion in February 2022 and is instrumental in preparing the reconstruction conference in June, which follows similar conferences in London and Lugano, Switzerland, over the past two years.

The Ukrainian government believes that if the war ended now, the country’s reconstruction 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.

The visit was overshadowed by the surprising departure of Schulze’s most important interlocutor. Immediately upon his arrival in Kiev, the deputy prime minister responsible for reconstruction, Olexander Kubrakow, was dismissed by parliament. Together with Schulze, he was supposed to prepare the reconstruction conference on June 11-12 in Berlin, which is so important for Ukraine. The SPD politician reacted with disappointment: “That’s not really good news.”

© dpa/

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