G7: Russian money for Ukraine

The G7 states have announced plans to use the interest on frozen Russian Central Bank assets in Western countries (currently around 260 billion euros) to help Ukraine. This would allow Kyiv to take out a loan of 50 billion euros to finance weapons purchases, investments and reconstruction. Russia has warned that the move will further undermine the global financial system. Most voices in the press, however, take a positive view of the move.

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Unian (UA) /

A demonstration of unity and resolve

The West is showing that it stands behind Ukraine, Unian comments:

“To summarise, the main outcome of the summit will be a demonstration of the West's determination to support Ukraine in its resistance to Russian aggression not only in the short term, but also in the long term. And to demonstrate that all the difficulties between the allies over the issue of supporting Ukraine are surmountable. As well as the awareness that the Russian Federation poses a threat not just to the security of Ukraine, but to that of the entire democratic world.”

Pravda (SK) /

Help in the best humanist tradition

Commenting on the announced financial aid, Pravda writes:

“No, this does not mean that we want to support the war. It is an expression of solidarity and deep human empathy, and shows that we're not willing to just stand by and watch the Russian army overrun a country whose inhabitants want to go back to their everyday lives, but who at the same time continue to defend their homeland because they are patriots. ... 'We must be decisive and creative in our efforts to support Ukraine and end Putin's illegal war at this critical moment', said British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. A humanist cannot think otherwise.”

De Standaard (BE) /

The West in a bind

The confiscation of Russian assets is just as controversial as punitive tariffs on Chinese cars, De Standaard notes:

“More than once there have been warnings that confiscating this money could come at a high price. The entire non-Western world could lose confidence in Western financial institutions as a result. It's a dreadful dilemma. Distortion of competition by the Chinese state economy and Russian aggression are forcing the European Union to take countermeasures that undermine the very pillars on which it is built: free trade and legal certainty.”

France Inter (FR) /

Firewall against Trump, Le Pen and Bardella

The G7 is seeking to prepare Kyiv for the prospect of truculent political forces in the EU and US, France Inter explains:

“The G7's plan was devised with Donald Trump in mind, and could just as well be applied to the risk posed by the far right to aid for Ukraine. The paradox is that the plan is to be discussed in Italy, at a summit chaired by Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, who is on the far right of the political spectrum. However, since taking office 20 months ago she has steadfastly supported aid programmes for Ukraine and even supplied weapons. Meloni, however, does not belong to the same European party family as the French RN, which for a long time had a closer relationship with Russia.”

La Stampa (IT) /

Strong agenda, weak leaders

The summit is historic, but in a negative sense, former Italian ambassador to Nato Stefano Stefanini remarks caustically in La Stampa:

“In almost half a century of summits there has never been such glaring disparity between the stakes and the cards in the hands of the players. ... Emmanuel Macron and Olaf Scholz received a resounding slap in the face in the European elections. Their contrasting reactions, one going on the attack, the other in the trenches, can't hide the fact that they're both in the same boat, searching for an internal consensus. ... Rishi Sunak, who deserves credit for limiting the damage done by his two Tory predecessors, is likely to be out of Downing Street in less than a month. And Joe Biden's election campaign is not looking good.”