UK's Sunak to rally business investment for Ukraine

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will ask entrepreneurs and businesses to step up investment in Ukraine at a conference next week to help rebuild after Russia's invasion.
FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, walks Ukraine's President, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, to a waiting Chinook helicopter after meetings at Chequers on May 15, 2023 in Aylesbury, England.
FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, walks Ukraine's President, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, to a waiting Chinook helicopter after meetings at Chequers on May 15, 2023 in Aylesbury, England.Carl Court/Pool via REUTERS

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will ask entrepreneurs and businesses to step up investment in Ukraine at a conference next week to help it rebuild after Russia's invasion.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy will make a virtual appearance at the two-day event which starts in London on Wednesday, organisers said.

"Ukraine's bravery on the battlefield must be matched by the vision of the private sector to help the country rebuild and recover," Sunak will say, according to the text of his speech released by his office on Saturday.

"A financially stronger, technologically advanced Ukraine will bolster its ability to drive Russia back behind its borders," Sunak will tell dignitaries and company bosses at the Ukraine Recovery Conference, according to the statement.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is also due to speak, as is European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen.

Britain and other Western allies have given the Kyiv government billions of dollars of assistance and weapons since Russia sent its troops over the border on Feb. 24 last year, in what Moscow called a "special military operation".

A new digital platform will be launched to connect Ukrainian and international companies to aid collaboration, the Downing Street statement said.

Another technology project will help Ukrainian and British entrepreneurs and businesses collaborate, and a 10 million pound ($13 million) fund will back low-carbon energy ideas in Ukraine, it added.

($1 = 0.7802 pounds)

(Reporting by Sarah Young; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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