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1 bn euros pledged for Ukraine at Paris aid conference

Countries gathered at an aid conference for Ukraine in Paris have pledged aid worth around one billion euros to help the war-hit country this winter, France’s foreign minister said on Tuesday.

Catherine Colonna said these were “new commitments, thanks to the holding of this conference. It is aid, or gifts in kind. It is not loans.”

She said the aid would be “rolled out in the next days and during the months of winter which will help strengthen the resilience of civilian infrastructure.”

Almost half of the aid — around 400 million — is for the Ukraine energy sector which is buckling under a wave of Russian air strikes.

“We cannot leave them (Ukrainians) alone faced with winter, faced with their aggressor which is seeking to inflict difficulties on them,” she told a press conference.

Colonna also confirmed the launching of a new platform to coordinate civil aid for Ukraine, enabling donors to see Ukraine’s needs and pledges from other countries.

The new so-called “Paris Mechanism” will be a real-time platform, managed by the European Commission.

“For us in Ukraine, this is a very powerful signal,” Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmygal told reporters.

“It shows that the whole of the civilised world is supporting Ukraine,” he added.

Colonna underlined that Tuesday’s conference was attended by Bahrein, Cambodia, Qatar, India, Indonesia and Turkey among others.

“You rarely see these countries in international conferences for Ukraine,” she told reporters.