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G7 welcomes plan to protect Trump aid to Ukraine

G7 welcomes plan to protect Trump aid to Ukraine

 


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Washington's G7 allies welcome US plans to provide tens of billions of dollars in funding to Ukraine ahead of Donald Trump's potential return to the White House.

Under the plan, which is expected to be discussed at the June summit, kyiv would receive money in advance from a G7 loan. The loan would be backed by future profits generated by approximately $350 billion in Russian assets tied up in the West in response to Moscow's full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Some G7 members have been reluctant to endorse the plan, but their feelings have changed after a diplomatic push from the United States, which is seeking a deal at the G7 leaders' summit next month, according to eight Western officials.

The plan would generate about $50 billion that would flow to Ukraine as early as this summer, U.S. officials said. The funding would come at a crucial time for kyiv as its forces struggle to hold the line amid a new Russian offensive following delays in the delivery of Western military aid.

The plan has been welcomed by the most reluctant G7 members, who see it as a way to ensure long-term funding for kyiv if Joe Biden loses this year's presidential election to Trump, who opposed the American aid to Ukraine.

It could be done before November, so even if Trump wins, the money has already been deployed, a person involved in the discussions said.

Italian officials, who hold the rotating presidency of the G7, said the summit would seek to reach consensus on how to maximize the use of windfall profits to ensure Ukraine's long-term financing.

Negotiations are underway ahead of a meeting of G7 finance ministers and central bank governors in Italy next week, where the issue will be discussed.

I feel there is momentum and interest, a senior US Treasury official said on Friday. And it's about trying to engage in rigorous, detailed economic diplomacy to make sure that we can all be on the same page. And I think we're making progress there.

The United States wants to include in the G7 joint statement a reference to exploiting revenue from Russian state assets and has won support from Canada and the United Kingdom, Western officials said.

France, Germany, Italy and Japan have already opposed more ambitious US plans, such as seizing Russia's underlying assets, fearing it would set a precedent for seizing Russia's assets. state and wreak havoc on the financial markets. They have been more open in recent weeks to the idea of ​​leveraging their profits to generate loans to Ukraine, officials said.

These four countries are moving closer together, an official said.

The details, however, still need to be agreed, the official added, notably on the question of who would issue the debt, either the United States alone or the G7 countries via an ad hoc vehicle that would guarantee it, and how the risks and The reimbursement would be shared in the event that future benefits do not materialize. .

The senior US Treasury official said any decision would fundamentally be a political decision, to be made by G7 leaders next month. The goal is to gain consensus among finance ministers to provide guidance to leaders, the U.S. official said.

Another person familiar with negotiations over Russian sovereign assets said the United States was not influenced by the timing of the elections.

Separately, EU countries agreed earlier this month to use part of these profits to jointly purchase weapons for Ukraine. Under the plan, Belgian central depository Euroclear, where most Russian-sanctioned state assets held in the bloc are blocked, would pay out the first tranche of profits as early as July.

The G7 project faces an additional problem, according to Brussels officials, since any plan to reap the benefits would require a new unanimous decision at the European level. Countries like Hungary could potentially cause more delays.

Additional reporting by Kana Inagaki in Tokyo and Martha Muir in Washington

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