KORSUN-SHEVCHENKIVSKYI, August 19 (RIA Novosti) – Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yastenyuk said costs for rebuilding infrastructure and businesses destroyed in the conflict in east Ukraine may reach as much as $8 billion dollars.
“If before we were talking about 8 billion hryvna [for reconstruction in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk regions], but somehow this figure has almost reached $8 billion,” Yatsenyuk said during a meeting with leading agricultural producers in central Ukraine.
Yatsenyuk once again blamed the independence supporters for purposefully destroying the infrastructure of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, as well as killing people.
In late July, Yatsenyuk already said that Kiev’s military operation against independence supporters had a negative impact on the country’s economic situation as eastern regions had stopped paying taxes. The prime minister also said that authorities were planning to provide eastern Ukraine with financial assistance if government troops gained control over local cities.
At the same time, Washington promised to provide Ukraine with $7 million in reconstruction aid for the country’s eastern regions.
In mid-April, Kiev launched a military operation in southeastern Ukraine after a number of regions refused to recognize the legitimacy of the country’s new government. The fighting intensified after Donetsk and Luhansk regions proclaimed themselves independent people’s republics. Hundreds of people, including civilians have died in both regions over the past few months.
Moscow has described the ongoing military action as a punitive operation and has repeatedly called on Kiev to put an immediate end to the bloodshed. Russia’s Foreign Ministry has also urged the international community to intervene and investigate the crimes against humanity that have occurred in Ukraine in recent months.