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Ukraine rebuild adviser Ken Rogoff doubles cost outlook to $1.2 trillion, calls for Europe to lead reconstruction

Economist Ken Rogoff (Photo from IMF)

By Ukraine Rebuild News Staff

Nobel Prize-winning economist Ken Rogoff, who serves on a panel advising Ukraine’s government, doubled his estimates of the country’s war recovery costs to as much as $1.2 trillion and called on Europe to spearhead the reconstruction.

“After more than 500 days of death and destruction, the projected costs have probably at least doubled,” Rogoff wrote on the website of Project Syndicate, which distributes opinion pieces worldwide. “Consequently, the need for Europe to step up and assume responsibility has become increasingly urgent.”

Rogoff, the former chief economist of the IMF, had estimated in the “Blueprint for the Reconstruction of Ukraine” April of 2022 that the rebuild would cost between 200 billion and 500 billion euros. He also made his initial call at that time for Europe lead the project, rather than US-led or global organizations.

The question of who will hold a commanding role in the eventual rebuilding of Ukraine is still a major unknown for the governments, corporations, NGOs and contractors eager to participate. The European Commission, the German Marshall Fund, the IMF, OECD and EBRD have all been named as likely candidates.

Rogoff, who was appointed last week to an Advisory Council on Economic Policy formed by the Ukrainian government, expanded on his call for European leadership in his latest editorial piece. Europe has more to gain than the US from the reconstruction of Ukraine, he wrote, adding that that US policy on Ukraine is uncertain ahead of the 2024 US presidential elections, and that Ukraine is already a candidate to join the European Union.

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