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G7 Nations Use Russian Frozen Funds to Fuel Ukraine Aid in Historic Move

Daniel Kim Views  

EPA·Yonhap News

On the 13th (local time), the leaders of the G7 countries agreed to support Ukraine with $50 billion by the end of the year using frozen Russian assets.

In response, Russia strongly protested, stating that the agreement would follow a painful price.

According to multiple media reports, the leaders of the G7 countries, including the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, France, and Italy, made this decision on the first day of the G7 Summit held at the Borgo Egnazia Resort in Puglia, Southern Italy.

Prime Minister of Italy and the chair country of the G7 Giorgia Meloni announced after the meeting, “We have reached a political consensus to provide additional financial support of about $50 billion to Ukraine by the end of the year in the form of loans, using the proceeds from the frozen Russian assets within our jurisdiction.”

Due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the G7, the European Union (EU), and Australia froze $282 billion in foreign exchange held by the Russian Central Bank, which their institutions had been holding since February 2022.

Although the United States initially proposed confiscating frozen assets to support Ukraine directly, European countries, where most of the Russian Central Bank’s assets are deposited, showed reluctance due to legal issues. Therefore, the G7 leaders found a compromise by supporting Ukraine with $50 billion by the end of this year using the interest income from the frozen assets, without directly disposing of the frozen Russian assets.

Reuters·Yonhap News

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who attended the special session on Ukraine held in the afternoon of the same day, had separate summit talks with President Joe Biden of the United States and Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan. Ukraine signed a 10-year security agreement with the United States and a 10-year cooperation agreement with Japan.

The New York Times (NYT) reported that Biden stated that with this agreement, Ukraine would be able to be self-sufficient and be on the path to becoming a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Biden said, “Our goal is to strengthen Ukraine’s credible defense and deterrence capabilities for the long term,” adding, “A lasting peace for Ukraine must be underwritten by Ukraine’s ability to defend itself now, and to deter future aggression anytime in the future.”

Reuters reported that Zelenskyy announced that Japan has agreed to provide $4.5 billion by the end of the year. The cooperation agreement between Ukraine and Japan covers various areas, including security and defense, humanitarian aid, post-war recovery, cyber security, and measures against fake information and organized crime. Japanese media outlets such as the Nihon Keizai Shimbun (Nikkei) reported that the agreement also includes Japan’s total support of $12 billion to Ukraine since Russia’s invasion.

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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