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G7 Agrees to Use Frozen Russian Assets to Fund $50bn Aid for Ukraine

WorldRussiaG7 Agrees to Use Frozen Russian Assets to Fund $50bn Aid for Ukraine

Puglia, Italy — The Group of Seven (G7) nations have reached a landmark agreement to use frozen Russian assets to raise $50 billion (£39 billion) to support Ukraine’s defense against invading Russian forces.

This decision was unveiled at the G7 summit in southern Italy, underscoring the group’s commitment to Ukraine amid its ongoing conflict with Russia.

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US President Joe Biden emphasized the significance of this measure as a strong signal to Russia, asserting that Western allies will not waver in their support for Ukraine.

“We’re not backing down,” Biden stated, reinforcing the coalition’s unified stance against Russian aggression.

In response to the G7’s decision, Moscow has threatened “extremely painful” retaliatory measures, highlighting the escalating tensions between Russia and the Western bloc.

Despite this, the funds are expected to become available by the end of the year, serving as a long-term financial aid package for Ukraine’s war effort and economic stabilization.

Simultaneously, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and President Biden signed a historic 10-year bilateral security agreement between Ukraine and the United States.

This pact, celebrated by Kyiv, promises military and training aid from the US to Ukraine, though it stops short of committing US troops to the conflict.

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The G7 and European Union had initially frozen approximately $325 billion worth of Russian assets following the full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

The interest generated from these assets, around $3 billion annually, will be used to cover the annual interest payments on the $50 billion loan to Ukraine, which will be sourced from international markets.

Speaking at a joint news conference, President Biden highlighted the strategic use of these funds. “The $50 billion loan will put that money to work for Ukraine and send another reminder to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin that we’re not backing down,” he declared.

He stressed that Putin “cannot wait us out, he cannot divide us, and we’ll be with Ukraine until they prevail in this war.”

President Zelensky expressed profound gratitude to his American and other international allies for their steadfast support.

Reflecting on the new security deal with the US, he remarked, “It’s a truly historic day, and we have signed the strongest agreement within Ukraine and the US since our independence [in 1991].”

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Other G7 leaders echoed this sentiment, with UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak describing the loan deal as “game changing.” The $50 billion is a significant sum, especially when compared to the $61 billion in US military aid agreed upon in May.

While some in Kyiv had advocated for releasing the entire $300 billion frozen fund, not just the interest, the European Central Bank ruled against this.

Unlike the immediate impact of the US aid package, which translated directly into additional military resources, the loan funds will not be available until later in the year, thus having a delayed effect on the conflict’s current dynamics.

Nonetheless, Ukraine continues to urgently seek more weapons, particularly air defense systems and the long-awaited F-16 fighter jets, which it hopes to receive as early as this summer.

The new security agreement includes US shipments of these warplanes, providing a critical boost to Ukraine’s defensive capabilities.

Symbolically, the G7’s decision represents a significant blow to Russia, forcing it to indirectly finance Ukraine’s defense and reconstruction.

A close advisor to President Zelensky noted that this move marks a pivotal turning point in the war, even though it is unlikely to prompt a sudden Russian withdrawal.

As the international community watches closely, the unfolding consequences of the G7’s decision will significantly influence the future trajectory of the conflict in Ukraine.

 

This article was created using automation technology and was thoroughly edited and fact-checked by one of our editorial staff members

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