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Ukraine prime minister calls for more investment in war-torn country during Chicago stop of US visit

Ukraine Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal spoke to Chicago-area business leaders on Tuesday, as part of multiple stops aimed at drumming up investment in the war-torn country.

CHICAGO (AP) — Ukraine Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal kicked off a United States visit Tuesday with multiple stops in Chicago aimed at drumming up investment and business in the war-torn country.

He spoke to Chicago-area business leaders before a joint news conference with Penny Pritzker, the U.S. special representative for Ukraine’s economic recovery, and her brother, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

UKRAINE PRIME MINISTER URGES US AID APPROVAL FOR AMMUNITION TO END RUSSIA’S INVASION

Shmyhal's trip comes comes as Congress is considering an aid package for Ukraine, Israel and other allies.

"We would warmly welcome the participation of Illinois companies in projects related to the recovery of Ukraine," he told reporters, calling it the country's "most difficult time" in recent history.

He cited World Bank estimates of $486 billion needed for recovery over the next decade. For example, more than 250,000 residential buildings have been damaged or destroyed since Russia invaded in 2022, he said.

Shmyhal also thanked Illinois for sending hundreds of ambulances.

Penny Pritzker, former U.S. Commerce secretary, said the U.S. aid package is critical to save Ukraine's economy and win the war.

She said the mission was also personal with her family's Ukrainian roots. The Pritzkers are heirs to their family’s Hyatt hotel fortune. Their great-grandfather fled Kyiv, Ukraine, more than 140 years ago, Penny Pritzker said.

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