Cover image: In a flooded district of Kherson, Ukraine, June 8, 2023. Evgeniy Maloletka / AP
Officials from more than 60 countries and hundreds of heads of major global companies are expected in London on Wednesday and Thursday for the second international conference on the reconstruction of Ukraine, Downing Street announced on Saturday. More than a year after the start of the war, the World Bank has assessed Ukraine’s immediate needs at 14 billion dollars (12.77 million euros) to repair the damage caused by the fighting. But the recovery of the country’s economy is expected to cost 441 billion dollars (just over 402 billion euros), according to a recent study.Ukraine will not receive preferential treatment for its NATO accession process, said US President Joe Biden on Saturday, who assured that Ukraine should “meet all the criteria” to achieve this. In addition, kyiv will not be invited to join the Alliance at its next summit, on July 11-12 in Lithuania, as NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Friday.A delegation of African heads of state met Vladimir Putin on Saturday in Saint Petersburg, with a view to initiating peace negotiations between Moscow and Kyiv. At the end of this meeting, Russia described the African plan to end the war in Ukraine as “very difficult to implement”. “African leaders and Mr. Putin have expressed their political will to continue the dialogue”, in particular within the framework of the Russia-Africa summit, scheduled for the end of July in Saint Petersburg, however added the spokesman of the Kremlin, Dmitri Peskov.On Friday, this same delegation of African heads of state met Volodymyr Zelensky in kyiv. The Ukrainian president had again ruled out any negotiations with Moscow. “Today I made it clear during our meeting that any negotiation with Russia now, when the occupier is on our land, means freezing the war, freezing the pain and suffering,” he said.Official flood tolls revised upwards. kyiv on Saturday drew up a new toll of 16 dead and 31 missing following the destruction of the Kakhovka dam on the Dnieper River last week. Russia, for its part, raised the death toll to 29 in the areas it controls in southern Ukraine.
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