Finance minister Makis Keravnos said on Thursday evening that Cyprus will help fund the rebuilding of war-torn Ukraine.

He made the comments at a signing ceremony in Brussels where 16 EU countries announced their intention to participate in the European Investment Bank’s EU for Ukraine Fund. The total money added to the fund is expected to exceed €400 million.

The fund is set to serve as a “temporary bridge solution” to ensure Ukraine can fund reconstruction projects until longer-term EU measures become available.

It will facilitate the execution of both public and private sector projects, with its focus being key infrastructure such as schools, hospitals, transport networks, and water and wastewater treatment facilities.

“In view of the damaging effects of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, EU efforts to support Ukraine’s reconstruction must continue. The reconstruction of Ukraine will require a large-scale coordinated and collective effort by all actors in the international community. In times of crisis, international solidarity is crucial”, Keravnos said.

He added that “the Republic of Cyprus provides significant humanitarian aid to Ukrainian displaced persons who are hosted on our island”, and linked the Ukraine war to the Cyprus problem, likening the Russian invasion of Ukraine to the Turkish invasion of Cyprus.

France, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, and the Netherlands have already made pledges to the fund, while Cyprus joins Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, and Greece among those countries which have announced their intention to contribute to the fund but not yet finalised the amount to be contributed.