Spread the love

In Italy, G7 leaders aim for agreement on Russian assets

G7 leaders meet today from Thursday in Italy where ù they will try to agree on a mechanism allowing the use of frozen Russian assets to help Ukraine achieve its goals. defend yourself.

Under Italian presidency, the “Group of 7” (United States, Germany, France, Italy, United Kingdom, Canada, Japan) meets in the luxurious seaside resort of Borgo Egnazia, in Puglia (south).

Faced with the specter of a return to the White House of Donald Trump and the uncertainty surrounding the consequences of his election for Ukraine, the G7 wants to secure funding for its military aid to Kiev.

The G7 hopes to reach a consensus on the use of Russian assets frozen by the West to supply Ukraine budgetary support and help rebuild the country.

The countries of the European Union adopted an agreement in early May to seize revenues from Russia's frozen assets in order to arm Ukraine, a windfall representing between 2.5 and 3 billion euros per year.

– 50 billion –

The United States, however, wants to go further and has put pressure on the countries of G7 to rally behind a mega-loan of around $50 billion guaranteed by future interest generated by fixed Russian assets.

But many questions remain, including that of knowing who would issue the debt and what would happen if the assets were released in the event of a peace agreement.

In Italy, G7 leaders aim for agreement on Russian assets

U.S. President Joe Biden steps off Air Force One upon arrival at Brindisi Airport, Italy, June 12, 2024 © AFP – PIERO CRUCIATTI

According to Paris, an agreement in principle has already been sealed “on the disbursement of 50 billion” dollars “before the end of 2024”.

“There is an agreement. As always at the G7, the leaders make a decision and the technicians then do their work to put it into shape”, the same source explained.

The United States seemed more cautious. The G7 intends to announce a “framework,” as well as a timetable, the details of which will need to be finalized later, according to Jake Sullivan, Mr. Biden's national security adviser.

Other states, behind the scenes, are asking for guarantees.

US President Joe Biden and his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, will sign also Thursday in Italy a bilateral security agreement, according to Jake Sullivan, which would provide for the supply of arms and assistance to Ukraine.

– Pope Francis invited –

Washington also announced on Wednesday a new round of sanctions aimed at curbing the Russian war effort in Ukraine, targeting entities located in Russia and countries like China, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.

In Italy, G7 leaders aim for agreement on Russian assets

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky holds a news conference after visiting a military training area in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, northeast Germany, June 11, 2024 © POOL – Jens Büttner

Traveling to Berlin on Tuesday, Volodymyr Zelensky called on his allies to increase their deliveries of anti-aircraft assets. He will then travel to Switzerland for a “Conference on Peace in Ukraine” which will bring together on Saturday and Sunday more than 90 countries and organizations, but neither Russia nor China.

In addition to the G7 leaders, Pope Francis, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, King Abdullah II of Jordan, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Argentinean Javier Milei and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva were invited to Italy.

Another sensitive subject for Washington and its G7 allies, tensions with China, support of Moscow and of which Americans and Europeans denounce the industrial overcapacity which floods their markets with subsidized products at low price.

Accusing Beijing in particular of illegally boosting its electric vehicle manufacturers, the European Commission threatened on Wednesday to impose additional customs duties.

But Westerners must be careful not to take counterproductive measures that would harm those among them most at risk. Germany, which exports more than 200,000 cars per year to China, says it fears a “trade war”.

The Secretary General of the United Nations expressed alarm on Wednesday “divisions” between the two blocs “nourished by geopolitical rivalries”.

– The war in Gaza –

“The new customs barriers introduced each year have almost doubled since 2019”, lamented Antonio Guterres, who will also participate in the G7.

According to a European official, the Puglia summit must serve to “coordinate” the G7 strategy on this issue which will be on the agenda for debate on Friday.

Finally, the war in Gaza should occupy part of the working sessions and numerous bilateral talks on the sidelines of the summit.

While the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas has entered its 9th month, the Secretary of The American state Antony Blinken is touring the Middle East to try to save the ceasefire plan announced on May 31 by Joe Biden.

The G7 has already expressed its support for this plan but Hamas proposed certain “unworkable” amendments, according to Mr. Blinken. For its part, Israel has not officially announced its position and continues without respite its offensive, launched on the Gaza Strip in response to the bloody attack carried out on October 7 by Hamas on its soil.

All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116