G7 agrees on 50 billion for Ukraine as battles rage

U.S. President Joe Biden has announced that the Group of Seven (G7) Western economies have agreed to use frozen Russian state assets to give tens of billion in aid to war-torn Ukraine. The announcement comes as fighting continues on the battlefields.

Jun 17, 2024

Italy hosts G7 summit in Puglia

By Stefan J. Bos
Claiming “democracies can deliver,” U.S. President Joe Biden said he and the other G7 leaders agreed to support wartorn Ukraine with a $50 billion dollar loan backed by profits on frozen Russian assets.

Biden also signed a 10-year bilateral security agreement to back Ukraine in its battle against the ongoing Russian invasion. “A lasting peace for Ukraine must be underwritten by Ukraine’s own ability to defend itself now and to deter future aggression anytime in the — in the future,” Biden said. 

“The United States is going to help ensure that Ukraine can do both, not by sending American troops to fight in Ukraine but by providing weapons and ammunition; expanding intelligence-sharing; continuing to train brave Ukrainian troops at bases in Europe and the United States,” he added. 

The agreement ended 12 months of complex negotiations that Biden admitted had limitations. 

He ruled out, for instance, that U.S. weapons being delivered could be used to strike deeper into Russia beyond the weapons bases being used to attack the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv. 

Yet despite these limitations, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called it the “strongest agreement” since his country’s independence in 1991. “This is an agreement on security and thus on the protection of human life.  This is an agreement on cooperation and thus on how our nations will become stronger,” Zelenskyy added.

‘Sustainable peace’
“This is an agreement on steps to guarantee sustainable peace, and, therefore, it benefits everyone in the world because the Russian war against Ukraine is a real, real global threat,” the Ukrainian leader stressed.

Besides Ukraine, the G7 summit in southern Italy also discusses other issues, including the Israel-Hamas. 

U.S. President Biden said Thursday that he doesn’t expect a ceasefire and hostage release deal for Gaza to be reached in the near future, saying Hamas needs to shift its position closer to Israel’s, U.S.-backed, proposals.

Other issues on the table include China, climate change, the spread of artificial intelligence, and African issues, especially Italy’s concern about uncontrolled migration to Europe from the continent. 

The gathering may be one of the last G7 meetings for Britain's prime minister and others, as they face tough elections and other political challenges, back home. --Vatican News

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