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Ukraine and Gulf announce diplomatic and economic alliance

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Russian bombardment of Kiev: Ukraine could be the world's largest construction point post-war
  • Gulf countries could help rebuild Ukraine after the war
  • Ukraine National Sovereign Fund launch with involvement of GCC

Ukraine, the Gulf bloc and the Organisation of lslamic Cooperation (OIC) announced on Tuesday the establishment of a special Advisory Council. 

The Council, headed by the Ukraine President’s Office and Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will focus on political, diplomatic, economic and humanitarian cooperation between Ukraine and the Middle East.

The Head of the President’s Office Andriy Yermak and Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba also announced the opening of offices of Arab media outlets and Arab-funded Red Crescent offices in Ukraine.

The council will also launch a Ukraine National Sovereign Fund with the cooperation and involvement of the GCC region’s sovereign wealth funds. 

The Head of President’s Office of Ukraine Andriy Yermak said: “Ukraine will become the world’s largest construction point after the war, and the Gulf countries could join the process of rebuilding our state.”

The moves are designed to deepen awareness in the Arab world of the situation in Ukraine and to strengthen economic ties.

“Many people are not aware of the Muslim population in Ukraine, and the role they are playing in trying to push back the Russian aggressors,” Ukrainian MP Rustem Umerov said.

“Consequently, the commitments made by the GCC to provide support and solidarity are very much welcomed by all Ukrainians.

“This joint agreement is comprehensive, with immediate efforts designed to help on the humanitarian front, support our economy and even broadcast to the wider Arab world what is happening here in Ukraine.”

Chris Doyle, director of the London-based Council for Arab-British Understanding (Caabu), told AGBI that the move was “positive” but “very vague”. 

“The announcement hints that the Gulf may invest in Ukraine post-war, whenever that is, for mutual business and trade benefit,” he said.

Doyle said that the announcement was likely driven by Ukraine as it pushes for stronger connections with the Gulf, both politically and economically.

Referring to the largely neutral stance of the GCC states to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Doyle said “deeper relations with the Gulf obviously matter.”

“I suspect this agreement is at the lower end of the support that Ukraine would like… the country is looking for international solidarity,” Doyle said. 

“What you see in this announcement, while positive, is still reserved in spirit. This is reflective of the general Gulf stance towards the invasion, where there has been no mention of solidarity against Russian aggression. It’s in line with that neutral stance.”