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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky discussed his country’s post-conflict reconstruction with Larry Fink, Chief Executive Officer of BlackRock, one of the world’s leading investment managers, the presidential press service reported.
During a conversation through video link, Zelensky thanked Fink for the work of a BlackRock team that had prepared a project to advise the Ukrainian government on how to structure Ukraine’s reconstruction funds, the report said on Wednesday.
They discussed prospects for channeling investment into the Ukrainian economy and agreed to focus on coordinating the efforts of potential investors, and also talked about the possible visit of certain BlackRock leaders to Ukraine next year, the report added as quoted by Xinhua news agency report.
Fighting in Ukraine currently deadlocked: Spy chief
Ukraine’s intelligence chief has said that fighting in the war-torn nation is currently in a deadlock as neither Kiev nor Russia is making significant advances.
Speaking to the BBC, Kyrylo Budanov, chief of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine, said: “The situation is just stuck… It doesn’t move.”
After Ukrainian troops recaptured the southern city of Kherson in November, most of the fiercest battles have been around Bakhmut, in the eastern Donetsk region.
Elsewhere, Russian forces appear to be on the defensive while winter has slowed down the pace of Ukraine’s ground operations across the 1,000-km front line.
Budanov told the BBC that Russia was “now completely at a dead end” suffering very significant losses, and he believed the Kremlin had decided to announce another mobilisation of conscripts.
But, he added, Ukrainian forces still lacked resources to move forward in multiple areas.
“We can’t defeat them in all directions comprehensively. Neither can they… We’re very much looking forward to new weapons supplies, and to the arrival of more advanced weapons.”
Earlier this month, after a series of Russian military setbacks, Ukrainian officials warned about the possibility of another ground offensive by Moscow’s forces from Belarus at the start of 2023.
Budanov, however, dismissed Russia’s activities in Belarus, including the movement of thousands of troops, as attempts to make Ukraine divert troops from the battlefields in the south and east to the north.
“As of now, I don’t see any signs of preparations for an invasion of Kiev or northern areas from Belarus.”
The spy chief believes Belarusian society will not support any further involvement in the war and analysts have questioned the level of preparedness of its 48,000-strong army.
“That’s why President (Alexander) Lukashenko is taking all steps to prevent a disaster for his country,” he told the BBC.
Budanov is adamant that Ukraine will ultimately retake all the territory now under occupation, including the Crimean Peninsula that Russia seized in 2014.
He envisages Ukraine returning to its 1991 borders, when independence was declared with the collapse of the Soviet Union.