France backs US plan to use frozen Russian assets for Ukraine aid ahead of G7 meeting

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France on Wednesday welcomed a US plan on using profits from frozen Russian assets to aid Ukraine, saying it was hoping for a deal at a meeting of G7 finance ministers this week.

Finance chiefs from major world economies will meet in Stresa, Italy from Thursday.

“The Americans have made proposals that fall within the framework of international law, and we are going to work on them openly and constructively,” French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire told reporters in Paris.

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Talks would have “the aim of reaching an agreement on this fundamental issue of financial support for Ukraine by the end of the G7 meeting in Stresa” on Saturday, he added.

Calls have been mounting in Washington and Europe to set up a fund for Ukraine using about $300 billion of Russia’s bank account funds, investments and other assets frozen by the West since Moscow’s invasion of its neighbor in 2022.

The scheme being mooted by Washington and London involves issuing a G7 loan of some $50 billion for Ukraine backed by future profits from frozen Russian assets held worldwide.

The US administration plan will serve as a basis for discussions at the G7 meeting, a source at the Italian Treasury told AFP this week.

Le Maire said that “there are still a lot of technical discussions to be had”.

“Our objective is to reach a common position”, he added.

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