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Interview of Sergii Marchenko with the Spanish newspaper El Pais (Cinco Dias)

Sergii Marchenko stressed that the world should put more pressure on russia to force it to stop the war.

Do you think the current sanctions are effective?

No. We don't think they are very effective. Russia has made several decisions to help them support the economy today. The russian economy has been far less damaged than the Ukrainian economy. Every day they get billions from oil and gas exports, which allows them to finance the war. While we are estimating our losses, they are counting their profits.

What are the economic consequences of the war in Ukraine?

Huge. We only cover about 62% of the state budget, not including military spendings. Inflation reached 18% in May. Overall, the damage is about USD 103.9 billion. For example, the destruction of residential buildings alone caused USD 39 billion in damage to Ukraine. We also expect a decrease in GDP due to the destruction of infrastructure and lost business revenues.

What does Ukraine need today?

We need more sanctions against more russian banks and companies. We also call for action against those countries that evade sanctions and allow russia to continue making money during the war. We need Russia to stop being a subject of the international economic system.

Are you satisfied with the European aid?

We got financial support from the EU at the beginning of the full-scale invasion, but it's not enough. The war is costing us USD 5 billion a month. The Western support we are getting now is not enough to cover all the costs. We have certain arrangements and communications with partners, but getting financial support from the EU takes time. And we need the money now.

Germany has not been tough enough on sanctions, what is your opinion on this?

The only thing I can say is that we are getting tangible support from the government of Chancellor Olaf Scholz. However, we obviously expect more. We are calling for a complete embargo on russian oil and gas. All countries are suffering today, while moscow is receiving millions every day. If the embargo is not imposed, we would like to see alternative steps that can stop funding russia's war machine.

What does Ukraine use to cover its military expenditures?

Through taxes, we also issue military bonds. Thanks to this we were able to raise about USD 3.4 billion for the budget after russia launched a full-scale invasion. We plan to extend this campaign.

Is this a systematic financial assistance?

No. We were expecting the war would last from one to three months. Right now, we can't predict accurately. The costs and losses of our economy are increasing every day.

Will russia survive the war?

Russia is less vulnerable to this war than Ukraine. War on our territory, for us, is real harm. Our people are dying, russia is destroying our infrastructure and industry. While they only need to replace the destroyed military equipment.

Countries like China and India continue to cooperate with Russia. What do you think about that?

China and India know what war is like on their soil, but they do not support Ukraine as other countries do. We ask at least not to side with russia. If they don't want to support with weapons or money, we would appreciate the support for people in need of humanitarian aid. We also ask them not to blame the Ukrainians for the war and not to justify the murders committed by the russian occupiers.

What are your expectations for future integration with the EU?

We want to introduce legislative and anti-corruption norms, which we think will have a positive impact on Ukraine. On the other hand, we also hope for support and access to European funds to finance economic recovery.

So far the Ukrainian economy has been based on the export of raw materials, will that change in the future?

In the future, we hope to increase our exports to new countries and develop small and medium businesses and services. I think that in the next few years we will try to recover what we have lost. Now we have problems with exports because of the blocking of Ukrainian ports. We are one of the world's major producers of sunflower oil and flour. Because of the russian blockade, Ukraine is losing one of the main resources to fill the budget and another consequence could be starvation in the world. We hope that in the near future we will be able to resume exports.

El Pais (Cinco Dias)