At the end of the two-day Ukraine conference in Lugano, Switzerland, more than 40 countries, including all EU states, agreed on basic principles and guidelines for the reconstruction of Ukraine.

"They mark the beginning of a long recovery process in Ukraine and define criteria and methods for reconstruction," said Swiss President and Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis.

Switzerland organized the conference together with the Ukrainian government.

Cassis assessed the "Lugano Declaration" as an expression of a broad commitment by international partners to support Ukraine on its way to a sustainable recovery.

He was convinced that with the conference he had taken an important first step on the long road to recovery in Ukraine.

John Knight

Correspondent for politics and economy in Switzerland.

  • Follow I follow

In this sense, Cassis saw it as a success that British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss announced in Lugano that she intended to hold a second reconstruction conference in London next year.

Ukraine's rebuilding will symbolize the power of democracy over autocracy and remind Russian President Vladimir Putin "that his attempts to destroy Ukraine have only resulted in a stronger, more prosperous and more united nation."

According to Development Minister Svenja Schulze (SPD), Germany wants to host the next reconstruction conference in 2024.

The world community is united in the goal of "rebuilding a free and democratic Ukraine," said Schulze in Lugano.

Specifically, the participants at the Lugano conference agreed on seven principles for reconstruction.

Accordingly, Ukraine should control the construction process itself and implement it together with international partners.

The progress and financial flows are to be monitored regularly.

This requirement aims to ensure that investment and aid funds do not seep away into dark channels.

Despite all the reform progress made in recent years, Ukraine was only ranked 122 out of 180 in Transparency International's corruption index. The third guideline adopted in Lugano, according to which the financing of reconstruction must be transparent and fair, fits into this context.

"The rule of law must be systematically strengthened and corruption eradicated," says the declaration.

Construction immediately after the end of the war

Furthermore, the reconstruction process should not be centralized, but should take place with the democratic participation of local communities and with the involvement of national and international actors from business, civil society and science.

Minorities should not be excluded.

The declaration also states that Ukraine must be rebuilt in a sustainable manner and that ecological aspects must be taken into account in line with the Paris climate agreement.

The Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Schmyhal thanked the conference participants for their broad support.

The first step towards rapid reconstruction must be taken immediately after the end of the war.

But then the country would also have to be modernized and integrated into the European area, emphasized Schmyhal, with a view to Ukraine's hoped-for accession to the EU.

The next conference in London should not only be about reconstruction, but also about the European integration of his country.

The prime minister reiterated his demand that frozen Russian assets should be used for reconstruction: "The aggressor must pay for this unjust war."