G7 confirms loan to Ukraine for USD 50 billion using frozen Russian assets | International

G7 confirms loan to Ukraine for USD 50 billion using frozen Russian assets | International
G7 confirms loan to Ukraine for USD 50 billion using frozen Russian assets | International

The G7 countries reaffirmed this Thursday their support for Ukraine with the announcement of a $50 billion loan to stop the Russian offensive, while Washington committed to supporting kyiv with a security plan for the next ten years.

“I confirm to you that we have reached a political agreement to provide additional financial support to Ukraine of approximately $50 billion by the end of this year,” said the Italian Prime Minister Georgia Meloni, whose country is hosting the G7 summit being held in southern Italy.

Meloni had invited Zelensky to join a special session dedicated to the Ukrainian war, in the presence of the American President Joe Biden and the leaders of France (Emmanuel Macron), Germany (Olaf Scholz), Canada (Justin Trudeau), Japan (Fumio Kishida) and the United Kingdom (Rishi Sunak).

The European Union is also participating in the discussions, which this year are being held in the luxurious resort of Borgo Egnazia, in the Apulia region, as the eighth informal member of this group that brings together the world’s richest democracies.

In parallel, the United States announced a security agreement with Ukraine for the next ten years, a “powerful signal,” according to Washington, of its long-term support against the Russian invasion.

The agreement, similar to the one the United States has with Israel, commits Washington to training the Ukrainian army, providing it with defense equipment, conducting joint exercises and cooperating in the defense industry.

Unlike what would happen if Ukraine were a member of NATO, the United States does not commit to sending its troops to defend the country. Despite this, Zelensky assured that the pact is a “bridge” for his country to enter NATO in the future.

For its part, Biden assured that the agreement shows Russian President Vladimir Putin that “we are not going backwards.”

The $50 billion loan announced by the G7 will use as collateral the interest generated by the nearly €300 billion ($325 billion) of Russian assets frozen by Western allies after the February 2022 invasion.

But it is a complex financial operation and it remains to be seen what would happen if the Russian assets were released, in the event of a hypothetical agreement with Russia, or who would assume the risk in the event of non-payment.

G7 asks Hamas to accept truce

A senior Biden administration official said Thursday that the United States is willing to provide up to $50 billion, but that its contribution could be “significantly lower” if it ultimately becomes a shared initiative.

“We will not be the only lenders. It will be a union of lenders. We are going to share the risk, because we have a shared commitment,” said the official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

In parallel, the G7 officially asked the Hamas movement, considered a terrorist group by several countries, to accept the roadmap for a ceasefire in Gaza announced in May by Biden.

According to the president of the United States, Hamas remains “the biggest obstacle” to reaching an agreement in the Gaza Strip that would allow for declaring a truce and releasing the hostages held by that group.

In May, Biden launched a plan, backed by the UN Security Council, to stop this war, triggered by the bloody Hamas attack on Israeli territory on October 7, which has left tens of thousands dead in the Palestinian territory.

The summit will continue on Friday, June 14, with the arrival of guests who are not part of the group, including the presidents of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, and Argentina, Javier Milei.

Milei has bilateral meetings on his agenda with Meloni and the French president, as well as with the director of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

Pope Francis, 87, will also travel to Apulia, not only as a spiritual leader, but also to give a talk on artificial intelligence and “algoretics” (the ethics of algorithms), an issue that worries the Vatican.

The pontiff also plans a private meeting with Lula.

The summit is held 60 kilometers south of Bari, the regional capital, in a hotel complex that imitates Italian architecture in the style of a theme park and is the favorite resort of Madonna, among other celebrities.

 
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