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Ukrainian ambassador: ‘Peace at any cost’ is ‘not possible’

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta
Ukraine’s Ambassador to the United States Oksana Markarova, speaks at the National Press Club in Washington, Tuesday, March 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Ukrainian Ambassador to the U.S. Oksana Markarova on Monday took aim at suggestions that Ukraine “allow Putin to save face” or cede territory for peace in an effort to end the more than three-month war.

“Peace at any cost is not in anyone’s interest, because it’s not possible. Either you win and you can live peacefully in your own country, or you die, and it doesn’t matter whether you die quickly, right away from the shells, or you die slowly [from] occupation and torture,” she said. 

Speaking at an event marking the 75th anniversary of the Marshall Plan in Washington, D.C., Markarova called for a plan to rebuild Ukraine modeled on the Marshall Plan that helped reconstruct Europe in the wake of the Second World War.

She estimated that more than 8 million people in Ukraine are internally displaced and an additional 10 million people live “under constant shelling in different places or under occupation.”

The ambassador added that the war has destroyed significant parts of Ukraine’s infrastructure, including 12 civilian airports, 295 bridges, 591 kindergartens, 574 health care institutions, 108 religious sites and 179 cultural buildings. 

“Unfortunately, these numbers will continue to grow until Russia is defeated,” Markarova added. 

She compared the current situation in Ukraine to that of post-war Europe, with both situations including “major devastation and loss of human lives.”

A Marshall Plan-inspired initiative for Ukraine, Markarova added, could be “innovative, energy efficient and something that is difficult to do when you have to disrupt the normal life.” 

Markarova reiterated that “we will build Ukraine that will be an example of how to do things. We will be a new Germany, but in this century, and will build a much stronger and better Ukraine.”

The Marshall Plan or the European Recovery Program went into effect in April 1948 following congressional approval. The program gave $13.3 billion in grants and loans, which included food, raw materials and technical assistance, to 16 countries in post-war Europe. 

Tags Oksana Markarova Oksana Markarova Russia-Ukraine war ukraine Ukraine invasion Vladimir Putin

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