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The richest man in Ukraine, Rinat Akhmetov, promises post-war reconstruction

Ukraine’s top oligarch vowed on Saturday to help rebuild his devastated country – just five months after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused him of financing a pro-Russian coup.

“We will rebuild all of Ukraine,” declared billionaire Rinat Akhmetov, the nation’s richest man.

“We will definitely need an unprecedented international reconstruction program, a Marshall Plan, for Ukraine,” he added, referring to the massive US-led effort to restore Europe after World War II.

Akhmetov’s two Mariupol-based steel mills, the backbone of his $3.9 billion fortune, have been shut down during the ongoing Russian bombardment of the strategic Ukrainian port city.

“My goal is to return to a Ukrainian Mariupol and implement ours [production] Plans for the steel produced in Mariupol to compete in global markets as before,” Akhmetov said.

Rinat Akhmetov
Rinat Akhmetov promised to help post-war reconstruction of Ukraine.
Only Photo via Getty Images
Rinat Akhmetov
Rinat Akhmetov’s steel factories were located in the besieged city of Mariupol.
AP

“Mariupol is a global tragedy and a global example of heroism,” he said. “I believe that our brave soldiers will defend the city, although I understand how difficult and hard it is for them.”

In November, Zelenskyy accused Akhmetov of conspiring to overthrow his government in a Russian-backed plot amid rising tensions as Vladimir Putin’s troops massed in a pre-invasion military build-up along the Ukrainian border.

Akhmetov, a vocal opponent of Zelenskyy’s anti-corruption measures against the country’s oligarchs, called the coup allegations “an absolute lie,” Politico reported at the time.

Rinat Akhmetov
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Rinat Akhmetov of plotting a coup against him in November.
AFP via Getty Images
Mariupol
Rinat Akhmetov called what Russia did to Mariupol a “global tragedy”.
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

On Saturday, the oligarch Zelenskyy praised “passion and professionalism” in opposing the Russian invasion.

“War is certainly not the time for quarreling,” Akhmetov said.

Akhmetov’s vows to help his homeland came a day after his steel company Metinvest said “Mariupol must remain Ukrainian.”

Mariupol Theater
Rinat Akhmetov said Ukraine needs its own Marshall Plan.
AP

“We believe in Ukraine’s victory and … will never operate under Russian occupation,” the company said.

https://nypost.com/2022/04/16/ukraines-richest-man-and-accused-zelensky-foe-promises-post-war-revival/ The richest man in Ukraine, Rinat Akhmetov, promises post-war reconstruction

JACLYN DIAZ

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