Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is making a diplomatic push in New York City to attract private sector money for rebuilding his war-torn country. Zelensky is scheduled to meet with a high-profile group of finance executives, business leaders, and even a celebrity chef to discuss his plan to use private capital to rebuild infrastructure destroyed in Ukraine’s ongoing conflict with Russia.
The meeting, organized by JPMorgan, is set to take place at the Permanent Mission of Ukraine to the United Nations in midtown Manhattan. The list of invitees includes top names in finance such as William Ackman of Pershing Square Capital, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink, and Blackstone President and COO Jonathan Gray. Other notable figures like former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt are also expected to attend.
The purpose of this meeting is to discuss potential investment opportunities in Ukraine’s reconstruction efforts. Earlier this month, Zelensky met with JPMorgan bankers in Ukraine to discuss the possibility of creating a private investment fund with an initial capital of $20 to $30 billion. The fund would focus on rebuilding infrastructure such as oil refineries, roads, bridges, and other key economic areas that have been devastated by the ongoing conflict.
However, the major obstacles to attracting private capital are the ongoing war and Ukraine’s history of corruption. The conflict, which officially began in 2022 when Russia invaded Ukraine, has created uncertainty and instability in the region, making it a challenging environment for potential investors. Zelensky’s government has also acknowledged the need to address corruption, which has long been a significant issue in Ukraine.
Despite these challenges, Zelensky is determined to attract private investment to help rebuild his country. He hopes to use the meeting in New York City to demonstrate to potential investors that Ukraine is a viable and profitable option for their capital. Zelensky understands that, at some point, Western aid to Ukraine will cease, and private capital will be necessary to continue the reconstruction efforts.
In addition to seeking investments, Zelensky is also making a diplomatic push to address the ongoing conflict and seek support from the international community. In his address to the U.N. General Assembly earlier this week, Zelensky called for the U.N. to strip Russia of its authority over the region and to provide assistance to help Ukraine prevail in the ongoing conflict.
On Wednesday, Zelensky will also meet with President Biden in Washington, D.C., to discuss the U.S.’s role in aiding Ukraine. The U.S. has already provided considerable military and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine since the conflict began and is expected to continue its support.
The meeting in New York City is a crucial step for Zelensky as he seeks to rebuild his country and gain support from the international community. Private investment would not only provide capital for reconstruction efforts but also demonstrate a vote of confidence in Ukraine’s future. With the support from high-profile figures in finance and business, Zelensky is hopeful that Ukraine can overcome the challenges and rebuild itself into a prosperous and stable nation.