Ukraine Prime Minister Begs for More Investment While in Chicago

( – Kicking off a recent visit to the US, Ukraine Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal made various stops in Chicago, Illinois, and tried to drum up more support, business, and investment into his war-torn nation amid its ongoing conflict with Russia.

In a news conference, Shmyhal spoke with business leaders from the Chicago area alongside Democratic Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker and his sister Penny Pritzker, an American special representative for economic recovery efforts in Ukraine. The Ukrainian prime minister told reporters that his country welcomes participation from companies in Illinois in projects toward its recovery during one of its most difficult times in history.

The trip came as Congress continues to debate a foreign aid package for the embattled nation, as well as for Israel, aid to Palestinians, and funds for securing the Indo-Pacific region surrounding Taiwan. On Wednesday, April 17, House Speaker Mike Johnson announced that he would follow through with plans to bring three bills to the floor for “national security interests” and foreign aid.

Shmyhal cited estimates published by the World Bank that show at least $486 billion would be needed over the next decade for Ukraine’s recovery, and the war is still ongoing. Over 250,000 residential structures have suffered damage or been completely destroyed since the Russian invasion in February 2022. The Ukrainian prime minister also thanked the state of Illinois for providing hundreds of ambulances.

Former US Commerce Secretary and the governor of Illinois’ sister, Penny Pritzker, expressed full support for the congressional aid package and said it was critical to win the war against Russia and to save Ukraine’s economy. She also spoke about her Ukrainian heritage and the Pritzker family.

The day before Schymhal’s visit, protesters took to the streets of Chicago and other cities nationwide over the Israel-Hamas conflict, toward which the debated spending bill would provide more funding. The protesters, who continued to call for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, clashed with police and several arrests were made.

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