G7 plans €15 billion in aid for Ukraine, Russia calls it ‘outright theft’

Officials at a working lunch at the G7 Foreign Ministers meeting in Wangels, Germany, on May 13

Officials at a working lunch at the G7 Foreign Ministers meeting in Wangels, Germany, on May 13 | Photo Credit: Getty Images

The finance ministers of the Group of Seven economic powers want to put together a €15 billion ($15.80 billion) aid package for Ukraine at their meeting in Bonn this week, a senior German government official said on May 17.

The package would cover three months, with a short-term financing arrangement mainly in the form of grants, which unlike loans do not have to be repaid, the official said, adding that the aid was needed because Ukraine's revenues have collapsed.

The United States had already offered to contribute half of the aid in the form of grants worth $7.5 billion, the official added, adding that the G7 ministers wanted to agree a joint communique at their meeting.

Russia opposes G7’s aid to Ukraine

The Kremlin said it would be “outright theft” for the Group of Seven economic powers and European Union to seize Russia’s frozen reserves and spend them on behalf of Ukraine.

German Finance Minister Christian Lindner told four European newspapers that he was open to the idea of seizing Russian state assets to finance the reconstruction of Ukraine.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that no one had informed Russia of such an initiative, which he said would be “illegal, blatant and of course requiring an appropriate response... It would be, in fact, outright theft”.

The Group of Seven major Western powers banned transactions with Russia’s central bank and froze its assets held in their jurisdictions, worth around $300 billion, after Russia launched what it called its special military operation in Ukraine in February.

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Printable version | Jun 9, 2022 4:23:36 am |