U.S. Pres. Biden and Ukrainian Pres. Zelenskyy sign 10-year bilateral security agreement

President Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy with G7 leaders event to announce a Joint Declaration of Support to Ukraine during NATO SUMMIT 2023. VILNIUS^ LITHUANIA. 12th July 2023

President Joe Biden and leaders of the Group of Seven nations reached a deal Thursday to give Ukraine a $50 billion loan this year backed by frozen Russian assets, sustaining their commitment in opposition of Russia’s invasion. The loan would be funded by interest earned on profits from Russia’s frozen assets, largely held in Europe and will support military aid, humanitarian support and reconstruction costs.

Biden and the leaders of Italy, Canada, Germany, France, Canada and the United Kingdom are in Italy for a series of G7 meetings this week. The move comes after Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy signed a separate bilateral security agreement, which solidifies U.S. support to Ukraine for the next decade, including military training, intelligence sharing and weapons assistance.

Mr. Biden and Zelenskyy held a joint press conference in Italy on Thursday, in which Biden called all the actions to bolster Ukraine a message to Russian leader Vladimir Putin: “he cannot wait us out, he cannot divide us. We’re going to stand with Ukraine. We’ve taken three major steps at the G7 that collectively show Putin he cannot wait us out, and we’ll be with Ukraine until they prevail in this war. First is the bilateral security agreement just signed. Second, historic agreement to provide $50 billion in value from Russian sovereign assets to Ukraine. And third, an agreement to ensure our sanctions efforts disrupt third countries that are supplying Russia’s war efforts.” (per NBC News).  Zelenskyy thanked Mr. Biden and Congress for their aid, and offered “thanks to every American heart that does not betray freedom and supports us.”

The Treasury and Commerce departments previously announced a new round of sanctions targeting Russia and its “war machine,” aimed at slowing Russia’s military growth as it continues its war in Ukraine. The sanctions will make it harder for Russia to import supplies to build military equipment, though they will still allow food and goods to get into Russia outside those sectors.  The Biden administration is now allowing Ukraine to use U.S. weapons across the border into Russia near the city of Kharkiv, a policy change that the White House says came with Russia opening a new front in its war.  National security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters earlier this week: “Our position here we believe is straightforward and common sensical. Russians are launching attacks from one side of the border directly on to the other side of the border. And Ukraine ought to be able to fire back across that border.” 

Editorial credit: Gints Ivuskans / Shutterstock.com

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