BlackRock to advise Zelensky on investments aimed to rebuild Ukraine

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and BlackRock CEO Larry Fink have agreed to coordinate investments to rebuild Ukraine, a statement from Zelensky’s office said on Wednesday. , following a phone call between the two leaders.

A readout of the call is that Fink and Zelensky met earlier this year to discuss projects involving BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, how to allocate funds to rebuild the country, and opportunities to encourage further investment. This was done after advising the Ukrainian government on how to create

“Volodymyr Zelensky and Larry Fink will, for the time being, coordinate the efforts of all potential investors and participants in the reconstruction of our country, directing investments to the most relevant and influential sectors of the Ukrainian economy. We have agreed to focus on,” the Ukrainian government said. That Wednesday statement.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has a video conference with BlackRock CEO Larry Fink.  (Source: Official website of the President of Ukraine.)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has a video conference with BlackRock CEO Larry Fink. (Source: Official website of the President of Ukraine.)

In November, the Ukrainian Ministry of Economy signed a memorandum of understanding with BlackRock, in which the fund manager said the country would “define the investment framework, including specifying design options for the envisaged set-up, structure, powers and governance. It has indicated that it will help establish a roadmap for implementation.

According to BlackRock’s announcement last month, the deal is intended to create an opportunity for both public and private investors to participate in the future reconstruction and recovery of the Ukrainian economy.

BlackRock did not immediately respond to Yahoo Finance’s request for more information.

Zelensky met with US President Joe Biden in Washington, D.C. last week and addressed Congress on the toll of Russia’s war in the country. The US House of Representatives on Friday approved her $45 billion aid package for Ukraine. This is part of his $1.7 trillion appropriation bill passed largely on party policy.

Russia’s war in Ukraine lasted for almost a year. Zelensky has recently pushed a peace plan aimed at ending the war that was dismissed by Moscow. As of November, the Kyiv University of Economics estimated the war’s damage to Ukraine’s infrastructure at about $136 billion.

BlackRock’s move on international affairs has faced mounting criticism in the United States from Republicans scrutinizing Fink, who the party sees the company as pushing the environmental, social and governance agenda. Last month, the state of Florida, led by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, announced that it would redeem $2 billion worth of state assets managed by BlackRock in ESG investments.

Criticism has also come from others in the investment field. Activist investor Bluebell Capital Partners also called on BlackRock’s board in November to oust Fink, citing alleged hypocrisy about the company’s ESG stance.

Bluebell argued that BlackRock’s role was not “to direct the public debate on climate and energy policy or to impose ideological beliefs on the corporate world.”

Alexandra Semenova is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. follow her on her twitter @alexandraandnyc

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