The reconstruction of Ukraine and the strategic role of Romania, Day 1 – Opening session & Panel II

The reconstruction of Ukraine and the strategic role of Romania, Day 1 – Opening session & Panel II

Today we started “The reconstruction of Ukraine and the strategic role of România” conference. Opening the event, Ionel Nițu, President of the New Strategy Center, thanked guests for their involvement in Ukraine’s reconstruction process. Nițu emphasized the significance of discussions on Ukraine’s rebuilding and the seriousness with which Romania approaches this topic, given its Euro-Atlantic integration experience.

His Excellency Marcel Ciolacu highlighted the importance of the logistic centre being formed in Romania for the reconstruction of Ukraine, underlining the efforts of the Romanian state in support of Ukraine, such as the corridors for grain exports. Romania will persist in promoting coordinated measures for the reconstruction of Ukraine, aware of the need for increased support. Significant progress in the maritime and railway sectors is a priority, and Romania is open to Western partners in this endeavour.

His Excellency Denys Shmyhal expressed his gratitude to Romania for its contribution to Ukraine’s reconstruction efforts and support to the Euro-Atlantic integration process. In his speech, the Ukrainian Prime Minister highlighted the destruction and challenges faced by his country following the Russian invasion on 24 February 2022. Shmyha outlined priorities for the reconstruction process, including the energy system, the military, agriculture, natural resource extraction, infrastructure and digital technologies.

After the opening sessions, we started the 2nd panel: Panel II. The Main Challenges of Ukraine’s Reconstruction in the Current Context

Panel II was chaired by Ms. Antonia COLIBĂȘANU, Senior Associate Expert, New Strategy Center & Chief Operating Officer & Senior Geopolitical Analyst, Geopolitical Futures, Romania and was titled “The Main Challenges of Ukraine’s Reconstruction in the Current Context”. She was joined by H.E. Oleksandr KUBRAKOV, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Communities, Territories and Infrastructure Development, Ukraine (via VTC), Mr. Mustafa-Masi NAYEM, Head of the State Agency for the Restoration and Development of Infrastructure, Ukraine, Mrs. Penny PRITZKER, Special Representative for Ukraine’s Economic Recovery, US (pre-recorded video message), Mr. Pierre HEILBRONN, Special Envoy for Ukraine’s relief and reconstruction, France, Mr. Jean FROEHLY, Head of the Task Force Ukraine Recovery Conference 2024 (URC24), Federal Foreign Office, Germany, Mr. Davide LA CECILIA, Special Envoy for the reconstruction of Ukraine, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Italy (via VTC), Mr. Spyridon LAMPRIDIS, Ambassador, Special Envoy for Ukrainian issues, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Greece

Participants have recognized the importance of consolidating cohesion among Western partners to ensure long-term commitments to Ukraine. A central element in the priorities of the reconstruction process is the development of port infrastructure, which will play a crucial role in facilitating necessary logistics transportation. Following the Russian invasion, Danube ports have reached a monthly handling capacity of 30 million tons, with current efforts aimed at expanding this capacity to 40 million tons per month. Simultaneously, maintaining military support for Ukraine remains essential, even within the context of financial constraints. Other significant aspects deserving a more detailed analysis in the near future include the importance of private investments in Ukraine’s reconstruction process, the close connection between European integration and the country’s reconstruction, the significant role of local authorities, and the human dimension, including the involvement of the Ukrainian diaspora in the country’s recovery.