Pursuant to the instruction of Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andriy Yermak, Deputy Head of the Office of the President Kyrylo Tymoshenko met with President of the Austrian Association of Municipalities Alfred Riedl.
Kyrylo Tymoshenko noted that Ukraine is currently going through difficult times, as even in the territories de-occupied from Russian troops, road and social infrastructure, as well as people's homes have been destroyed.
According to him, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is implementing an ambitious plan to rebuild Ukraine: he is negotiating at the highest level with the leaders of the partner countries on the patronage over each region. At the same time, the Office of the Head of State seeks to build cooperation with foreign communities at the local level to restore specific facilities.
Kyrylo Tymoshenko noted that Austrian communities could establish partnerships with certain communities of Ukraine and in the framework of this cooperation take part in the reconstruction of a kindergarten, school, sports ground, park, etc.
"We want the majority of Austrian communities to establish bilateral relations with Ukrainian communities, such as those that already exist between the Kyiv region and Lower Austria, as well as Zakarpattia and Burgenland," said the Deputy Head of the Office of the President.
He said that in the framework of a partnership memorandum between the Kyiv region and Lower Austria, the town of Vösendorf is ready to help rebuild Bucha, and the mayor of Wiener Neustadt (near Vienna) expressed readiness to help rebuild Borodyanka.
According to Kyrylo Tymoshenko, work is underway to create a so-called fast recovery plan - a plan to quickly rebuild apartments, schools, kindergartens, and medical facilities that were destroyed as a result of the Russian invasion.
"The first thing the President and our team want to do is create all the conditions for people to return home," he said.
Kyrylo Tymoshenko also spoke about the development of an online resource that will display each destroyed or damaged infrastructure object - with photos and detailed information about it. It will soon be publicly available so that partners can begin work on these facilities.
According to the Deputy Head of the Office of the President, the reconstruction of the facilities can be financed with the help of the United24 fundraising platform.
Therefore, Kyrylo Tymoshenko noted, the leadership of the Austrian community will be able to demonstrate the practical results of its support for Ukraine through completed facilities.
The Deputy Head of the Office of the President also stressed the importance of demining cities and territories liberated from the occupiers, especially residential buildings and roads. According to him, the areas that need demining today are so large that it will be difficult for Ukraine to cope alone.
The parties discussed the need of employees of the SES of Ukraine for a protective uniform, as it is quickly wearing out, and equipment, including vehicles that could be used for demining. Alfred Riedl expressed readiness to help in this matter.
The President of the Austrian Association of Municipalities noted his interest in finding ways to establish partnerships between local governments of Ukraine and Austria in the context of reconstruction. He stressed that Austrian cities and municipalities want to deepen cooperation with Ukrainian communities.
"The Austrian Association of Municipalities has prepared five vehicles for the transfer to Ukraine: three fire trucks, an ambulance and a garbage truck. This is a signal of the beginning of our cooperation," Alfred Riedl said.
He also spoke about the European Investment Bank's infrastructure recovery programs.
Separately, the President of the Austrian Association of Municipalities noted the Ukrainian system of online education, which he could observe at the example of families from Ukraine who took refuge in Vienna after the beginning of the war.
"We understand that Ukraine is currently fighting and suffering for European values, and therefore, of course, we, for our part, support granting Ukraine the status of a candidate for EU membership," said Alfred Riedl.
As a result of the negotiations, the parties agreed to establish communication at the community level for a more substantive discussion of specific projects.