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Zelensky at G7 summit: We need mechanism for confiscating $300 billion in Russian assets

by Martin Fornusek June 13, 2024 7:32 PM 3 min read
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky (front) together with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, U.S. President Joe Biden, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, French President Emmanuel Macron, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and European Council President Charles Michel (counterclockwise) during a G7 summit in Fasano, Italy, on June 13, 2024. (Presidential Office)
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Ukraine and the Group of Seven (G7) nations must create a mechanism for confiscating $300 billion in frozen Russian assets, President Volodymyr Zelensky said on June 13 during a G7 summit in Italy.

"We need to make the states that support terror understand that they will pay for it," the president added.

In his address to the meeting of the world's wealthiest democracies, Zelensky urged support for Ukraine's security, defense, recovery, and Kyiv's peace formula and called for a plan to confiscate Russian assets.

Leaders of the U.S., Italy, France, Germany, Canada, Japan, the U.K., the EU, and other invited countries gathered for a two-day meeting in Fasano in Italy to discuss Russia's war in Ukraine and other common topics.

After months of back-and-forth discussions between Washington and Europe, G7 leaders reached an agreement on providing Ukraine with $50 billion by the end of the year using profits from frozen Russian assets, AFP reported on June 12.

Japan, Ukraine sign bilateral security agreement
President Volodymyr Zelensky and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida signed a 10-year bilateral security agreement on the sidelines of the Group of Seven (G7) summit in Italy on June 13.

"I ask you to support the plan to use Russian assets, which will quickly provide Ukraine with $50 billion," Zelensky said at the summit.

"You are all aware of the details. This is a completely operational plan. And this is money that should work to support both defense and reconstruction," the president noted, reiterating the need for a mechanism to confiscate all the $300 billion immobilized on Western accounts.

Zelensky also thanked the G7 leaders for the security declaration made last July and for the bilateral security agreements based on this pledge. The president signed such an accord with Japan during the summit and is scheduled to sign another with the U.S. later the same day.

"Secondly, we have to make our cooperation in providing specific assistance to our soldiers perfect already now," the president said. He thanked for air defenses and the recent permission to strike inside Russia with Western-supplied weapons but also called for faster F-16 training for Ukrainian pilots and additional Patriot air defense systems.

"And I have one message from our military – they are grateful for all the military support packages you have provided and ask you to deliver them to Ukraine, to our soldiers, as soon as possible."

Referencing the Ukraine Recovery Conference that took place in Berlin earlier this week, Zelensky said that the partners must develop "a clear plan for recovery, similar to the Marshall Plan for Europe after (World War II)."

"Friends, let's draw up such a recovery plan together and confirm it with a joint G7-plus declaration – a recovery declaration," the president said.

As his final point, Zelensky thanked the G7 leaders for their support for Ukraine's peace formula and the global peace summit that will take place in Switzerland later this week.

While Kyiv's partners voiced full backing for the summit, some, like German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, tempered expectations from the meeting, while U.S. President Joe Biden will skip it completely, sending Vice President Kamala Harris in his stead.

Russia has not been invited to the summit, which led to many ostensibly "neutral" countries like China or Saudi Arabia refusing to attend.

G7 agrees on transfer of $50 billion in profits from frozen Russian assets to Ukraine
“We have an agreement,” a French presidency official said, ahead of a summit in Italy, which starts on June 13.

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