Interfax-Ukraine

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Ukraine needs intl financial support from national budget – Zelensky.

Ukraine, in the context of the war unleashed by Russia, needs financial support, as national budget receipts have fallen sharply, while spending, especially for humanitarian and military purposes, has grown, President Volodymyr Zelensky has said.

"We are interested in filling our budget, we have difficulties with this, because most enterprises do not operate, the private sector does not work for various reasons: somewhere there are bombings, somewhere people are just afraid, they just closed small and medium-sized businesses," he said at a press conference with foreign media representatives on Saturday.

The head of state said Russia is also seizing facilities of the Ukrainian gas transportation system and nuclear power plants, which are important donors to the national budget.

According to Zelensky, certain industries, for example, IT, or certain strategic enterprises are working and some kind of budget filling is underway, but "there is definitely a need for money."

"Europe and the United States help here, allocate money. What they go for is the work of the government," the president said.

At the same time, he found it difficult to estimate the amount needed to restore the economy. "I do not have time, and the government does not have time to calculate how much it costs and how it all ends," Zelensky said.

He said that part of the assistance provided to Ukraine, in particular military assistance, is not free. "There is separate assistance from some countries that help us for free, but there are 'weapons today, but the bill later.' Therefore, I do not know how much all this costs," the President of Ukraine said.

"It is true, there are more priority tasks than money," he said.

Answering a question about the possibility of compensating Ukraine's losses at the expense of Russia's frozen funds, Zelensky called the right measure to block these funds and again expressed regret that this was not done preventively.

"The fact that they froze the assets of the Russians is the right decision, it should have been done faster... We thought that it would have worked preventively, then there would have been no war. I am not 100% sure, but I do not see what the difficulty was in regarding the imposition of these sanctions before the war. I do not understand how bad it would have been, and I probably will never understand this," the President of Ukraine said.

He also found it difficult to estimate how much this war would cost Russia. "Since, firstly, it has not ended," Zelensky said.

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