George Soros has called on Europe to stump up $50 billion in aid to support Ukraine as its economy withers in the wake of ongoing conflict with Russia.
In an essay published in the New York Review of Books on Thursday, Soros said the financial package is needed to help the Ukrainian government embark on radical economic reforms.
The billionaire investor and philanthropist said while he supports the continuation of sanctions against Russia, the focus must be shifted from punishing Russia to helping Ukraine.
“Europe needs to wake up and recognize that it is under attack from Russia,” wrote Soros. “Assisting Ukraine should also be considered as a defense expenditure by the EU countries.”
The International Monetary Fund approved a $17 billion bailout for the distressed country in March. In the same month, the European Union offered Ukraine financial assistance worth about $15 billion in the form of loans, grants, investments and trade concessions.
But as economic conditions deteriorate and Ukraine battles pro-Russian separatists in its eastern regions, the Ukraine government has said it will need more support.
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