G7 will try to use frozen Russian assets to help Ukraine

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The G7 will explore ways of using the future income from frozen Russian assets to help Ukraine, finance chiefs from the Group of Seven industrial democracies said on Saturday, according to a draft statement seen by Reuters.

The G7 froze some $300 billion of Russian assets shortly after Moscow invaded its neighbor in February 2022.

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“We are making progress in our discussions on potential avenues to bring forward the extraordinary profits stemming from immobilized Russian sovereign assets to the benefit of Ukraine,” the draft statement said.

The statement will not undergo significant changes before a final version to be released later on Saturday, a G7 source said.

The ministers will be joined on Saturday by Ukraine’s Finance Minister Serhiy Marchenko, whose war-torn country is struggling to contain a Russian offensive in the north and the east, more than two years after Moscow first invaded.

The finance ministers and central bankers meeting in Stresa, northern Italy, aim to present options on the issue of Ukraine funding for G7 heads of government to consider at a summit in mid-June, the statement said.

“Consistent with our respective legal systems, Russia’s sovereign assets in our jurisdictions will remain immobilized until Russia pays for the damage it has caused to Ukraine,” the statement said.

China’s growing export strength and what G7 ministers call its industrial “overcapacity” have been another central theme of the two-day gathering in the northern Italian lakeside town of Stresa.

“We express concerns about China’s comprehensive use of non-market policies and practices that undermines our workers, industries, and economic resilience,” the statement said.

“We will continue to monitor the potential negative impacts of overcapacity and will consider taking steps to ensure a level playing field, in line with World Trade Organization (WTO) principles.”

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