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G7 approves $50 billion loan for Ukraine using seized Russian assets

G7 approves $50 billion loan for Ukraine using seized Russian assets

G7 approves $50 billion loan for Ukraine using seized Russian assets

G7 approves $50 billion loan for Ukraine using seized Russian assets

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  • The G7 has agreed to raise $50bn (£39bn) for Ukraine using frozen Russian assets.
  • US President Joe Biden emphasized the decision as a reminder to Russia that the US is not backing down.
  • President Vladimir Putin condemned the move as “theft” and warned that it would not go unpunished.
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The G7 has agreed to raise $50bn (£39bn) for Ukraine, using frozen Russian assets, to help it combat invading Russian forces.

US President Joe Biden emphasized that the decision reminded Russia “that we’re not backing down.” However, in Moscow, President Vladimir Putin condemned the move as “theft” and warned that it “would not go unpunished.”

During the G7 summit in Italy, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and President Biden signed a 10-year bilateral security deal between Ukraine and the US, which Kyiv praised as “historic.” The agreement includes US military and training aid to Ukraine, but it does not obligate Washington to deploy troops to fight for its ally.

The White House stated that the security deal ensures Washington and Kyiv will collaborate to build and maintain Ukraine’s defense and deterrence capabilities, strengthen the country’s defense industrial base, and support economic recovery and energy security.

The statement added that the security deal ensures that if Russia launches a future armed attack against Ukraine, there will be consultations “at the highest levels” to determine the appropriate and necessary measures to support Ukraine and impose costs on Russia.

Separately, the G7, along with the EU, froze $325 billion worth of assets following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022. These assets generate about $3 billion annually in interest.

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Under the G7 plan, this $3 billion will be used to pay the annual interest on the $50 billion loan for Ukraine, which is being taken out on the international markets.

The money is expected to arrive by the end of the year and is seen as a longer-term solution to support Ukraine’s war effort and economy.

Speaking at a joint news conference at the summit venue in Puglia, southern Italy, President Biden said the $50 billion loan would “put that money to work for Ukraine and send another reminder to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin that we’re not backing down.”

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

President Zelensky thanked his American and other allies for their unwavering support. Referring to the new security deal, he said, “It’s a truly historic day, and we have signed the strongest agreement between Ukraine and the US since our independence in 1991.”

The G7 group of rich nations—Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the US—have played a crucial role as financial and military supporters of Ukraine in its fight against occupying Russian forces. Other G7 leaders also praised the $50 billion loan deal, with UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak calling it “game changing.”

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The $50 billion loan represents a significant amount of money, especially compared to the $61 billion in US military aid agreed upon in May. A senior White House official stated that the G7-agreed fund will have “multiple” uses, including “military support, budget support, humanitarian support, and reconstruction support.”

The US official added that there will be “flexibility in this structure,” with some countries preferring to allocate their funds to budget support and reconstruction, while others will earmark funds for military support.

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