July 14th, 2024

US, Europe agree to lock up Russian assets until it pays for Ukraine war, clearing way for $50B loan

By Colleen Long And Darlene Superville, The Associated Press on June 13, 2024.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy poses after being welcomed by Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, right, upon his arrival at the G7, Thursday, June 13, 2024, in Borgo Egnazia, Italy. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

BORGO EGNAZIA, Italy (AP) – The United States and European countries have agreed to lock up sanctioned Russian assets until Moscow pays reparations for its invasion of Ukraine, a senior U.S. official said Thursday. The move clears the way for leaders to announce a $50 billion loan package for Kyiv at the Group of Seven summit.

The highly anticipated agreement will leverage interest and income from the more than $260 billion in frozen Russian assets, largely held in Europe, to secure a $50 billion loan from the U.S. and additional loans from other partners.

The first disbursements will be made this year, but it will take time for Ukraine to use all the money, the official said. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity to preview the agreement, which will be included in the G7 leaders’ communique on Friday.

President Joe Biden will meet on Thursday with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to discuss a bilateral security agreement between the U.S. and Ukraine. The international group of wealthy democracies has been looking for new ways to bolster Ukraine’s defenses against Russia.

The leaders’ statement will also leave the door open to confiscating the Russian assets entirely, for which the allies have yet to secure the political will, largely citing legal and financial stability concerns.

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