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An area of Chasiv Yar in Donetsk after Russian bombing Alamy Stock Photo
russian invasion

G7 countries are a step closer to using frozen Russian assets to help Ukraine

It comes as Ukraine continues its urgent appeals for more funds from Western allies in its third year of war with Russia.

G7 COUNTRIES HAVE moved one step closer to agreeing on ways to use profits from frozen Russian assets to help Ukraine.

A search for creative but legally sound solutions was top of the agenda at a two-day Group of Seven meeting in Stresa, northern Italy that wrapped up today.

It comes as Ukraine continues its urgent appeals for more funds from Western allies in its third year of war with Russia.

“We are making progress in our discussions on potential avenues to bring forward the extraordinary profits stemming from immobilised Russian sovereign assets to the benefit of Ukraine, consistent with international law and our respective legal systems,” the ministers said in a draft final statement.

They hope to present a proposal that is “defined in all its dimensions” to G7 leaders ahead of a summit in June, Italian Finance Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti told a final press conference today.

“Progress has been made,” Giorgetti said, adding that there was a “strong political positioning by all the G7 countries” over the idea.

An agreed proposal “is clearly not yet finalised because it has significant technical and legal issues”, Giorgetti cautioned.

“We do not deny the difficulties but there is a firm determination to arrive at a solution,” he added.

G7 finance ministers reiterated in the draft that Russian assets frozen by the Group of Seven nations “will remain immobilised until Russia pays for the damage it has caused to Ukraine”.

They went further, saying they were “committed to further financial and economic sanctions… including continuing to target Russia’s energy revenue and future extractive capabilities”.

“(The G7 is) ready to impose sanctions on individuals and entities that help Russia acquire advanced materials, technology, and equipment for its military industrial base,” added the draft statement.

The summit wrapped up a day after the United States announced a new $275-million package of aid for Kyiv, part of a $61-billion military aid deal passed by Congress last month after months of delays.

Kicking off the finance summit, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen had urged her counterparts to embrace “ambitious options” in considering how to use the frozen Russian assets.

The G7 ministers also expressed concern in the draft statement over China’s trade policies and industrial overcapacity, warning the bloc could take measures to counter them.

The United States has led growing concerns that a surge of low-cost Chinese exports fuelled by Chinese government support in key sectors like solar and electric vehicles pose a risk to global markets.

“While reaffirming our interest in a balanced and reciprocal collaboration, we express concerns about China’s comprehensive use of non-market policies and practices that undermines our workers, industries, and economic resilience,” the draft statement said.

Saying the G7 would “continue to monitor the potential negative impacts of overcapacity”, it said the group “will consider taking steps to ensure a level playing field, in line with World Trade Organization (WTO) principles”.

In February, the United States argued that G7 nations should seize the frozen assets outright, an idea it later backed away from due to the concern of allies that it could be a dangerous legal precedent and that Russia could retaliate.

© AFP 2024