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G7 demands $486 billion payback from Russia

Moscow is obliged to pay billions of dollars in damages to Kiev, according to a joint statement by the Group of Seven nations

The leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) nations have demanded that Russia pay $486 billion to Ukraine in damage allegedly inflicted by the ongoing conflict, according to a joint statement issued on Friday.

The US and its G7 allies – the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan – indicated that Russian assets will remain frozen until Moscow ends the conflict and pays compensation. The West has frozen roughly $300 billion in Russian sovereign funds since the start of the Ukraine conflict.

“Russia must end its illegal war of aggression and pay for the damage it has caused to Ukraine. These damages now exceed $486 billion, according to the World Bank,” the G7 statement, published by the White House, reads.

The group declared that “with a view to supporting Ukraine’s current and future needs in the face of a prolonged defense against Russia,” the G7 will launch ‘Extraordinary Revenue Acceleration (ERA) Loans’ for Kiev. This will make available “approximately $50 billion in additional funding to Ukraine by the end of the year,” it said.

The G7 said it intends to provide financing that will be serviced and repaid by future flows of “extraordinary revenues stemming from the immobilization of Russian Sovereign Assets” held in the European Union and other relevant jurisdictions.

“To enable this, we will work to obtain approval in these jurisdictions to use future flows of these extraordinary revenues to service and repay the loans,” the statement reads.

The G7 intends to disburse the financing through multiple channels that direct the funds to Ukraine’s military, budget, and to its reconstruction needs, it added.

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Putin names conditions for Ukraine peace talks

The US has been pushing its allies to embrace a loan backed by income from the frozen Russian assets that could provide Ukraine with billions of dollars in near-term funding. Most of the frozen assets are being held in the EU. US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said recently that the flow of windfall profits earned on the immobilized Russian assets amounts to around $3-$5 billion per year.

Russia has repeatedly stated that any actions taken against its assets would amount to “theft” and would violate international law. Moscow has warned it would respond in kind if the West went through with threats to confiscate Russian assets.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday outlined conditions for Ukraine peace talks, insisting that Ukraine should first of all remove its troops from Russia’s new regions. Putin also condemned Kiev’s Western backers for allegedly preventing it from holding peace talks with Moscow while also accusing Russia of rejecting negotiations. Accepting the terms would allow everyone involved to turn the page and gradually rebuild damaged relations, the Russian president said.

Ukraine’s Vladimir Zelensky has rejected Russia’s terms for ending the conflict, describing the peace conditions as an “ultimatum.”

June 15, 2024 at 01:32AM

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