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G7 leaders reach deal to use frozen Russian assets to fund Ukraine war efforts

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Apulia, Italy -

Canada and its G7 allies have reached a deal that would see US$50 billion loaned to Ukraine. 

Under the U.S.-led plan, officially announced by President Biden in Italy Thursday, all G7 leaders would contribute to the loan. The White House has said that money will be put towards humanitarian and military aid for Ukraine, and that it will also be used to help the country rebuild.

U.S. President Joe Biden called it a “significant achievement” that will send a strong message to the Russian president that “we are not backing down.”

The loan itself will be guaranteed by the interest accrued from the nearly US$300 billion in Russian assets frozen around the globe. Most of those assets are currently held in Europe.

Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskyy applauded the move, calling it a vital step forward toward sustainable support for Ukraine.

“Russia’s immobilized assets should be used for defending the lives of Ukrainians from Russian terror and for repaying the damage the aggressor caused Ukraine,” he said. “It’s fair and absolutely right.

Canada announced Thursday it is contributing C$5 billion. Since the G7 started freezing Russian assets in 2022, more than C$140 million worth of Russian assets have been seized in Canada. 

Canada’s top diplomat at the summit, known as the G7 Sherpa, says Russia needs to pay for what it is doing to Ukraine

“They are causing the damage and they need to pay,” said Cindy Termorshuizen, Canada's G7 Sherpa and Associate Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, adding that there has been a conversation for quite a while about how to use the frozen assets to Ukraine’s benefit.

“There were a lot of conversations, and Canada was one of the very early players to talk about how we could design this to make this feasible.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reiterated his support for Ukraine in a bilateral meeting today with the Ukrainian president.

Canada also announced new sanctions on 11 individuals and 16 entities the government says is supplying key technology and electrical components to Russia’s war against Ukraine.   

“For many, many years we’ve been talking about the need to go after some of the Russian assets and the Russian profits particularly,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told Zelenskyy during the public portion of their bilateral meeting.

“We know how important it is to make sure you have the tools to continue to defend not just your country, but all of our democracies and the principles of the rules-based order.”

It remains unclear exactly how much the other G7 countries will contribute.  

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