20 July 2024,   04:39
G7 agrees USD 50bn loan for Ukraine from Russian assets

The G7 has agreed to use frozen Russian assets to raise USD 50bn for Ukraine to help it fight invading Russian forces, writes BBC.

US President Joe Biden said it was another reminder to Russia “that we’re not backing down”, but in Moscow President Vladimir Putin said the move was “theft” which would “not go unpunished”.

Also at the G7 summit in Italy, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Mr Biden signed a 10-year bilateral security deal between Ukraine and the US, hailed by Kyiv as “historic”.

The agreement envisages US military and training aid to Ukraine - but it does not commit Washington to send troops to fight for its ally.

According to the White House, the security deal means Washington and Kyiv will work to build and maintain Ukraine’s defence and deterrence capability, bolster the country’s defence industrial base, and support economic recovery and energy security.

The security deal also means that in the event of a future Russian armed attack against Ukraine, there will be consultation “at the highest levels to determine appropriate and necessary measures to support Ukraine and impose costs on Russia”, the statement added.

Separately, some USD 325bn worth of assets were frozen by the G7, alongside the EU, following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022. The pot of assets is generating about USD 3bn a year in interest.

Under the G7 plan, that $3bn will be used to pay off the annual interest on the USD 50bn loan for the Ukrainians, taken out on the international markets. The money is not expected to arrive until the end of the year but is seen as a longer-term solution to support Ukraine’s war effort and economy.