G7 countries to provide $19.8 billion in aid to crisis-hit Ukraine

G7 countries to provide $19.8 billion in aid to crisis-hit Ukraine

Finance chiefs from the Group of Seven leading economies pledged to deliver $19.8 billion of budget aid to Ukraine this year as the country struggles to continue functioning amid destruction wrought by Russia’s invasion.

“While also addressing Ukraine’s humanitarian and other material needs, we recognize, in particular, Ukraine’s urgent short-term financing needs,” G-7 finance ministers said Friday in a communique following two days of meetings near Bonn.

The amount includes $9.5 billion of commitments made in the run-up to this week’s meeting, “to help Ukraine close its financing gap and continue ensuring the delivery of basic services to the Ukrainian people.”

The International Monetary Fund will be assisting with the package, German Finance Minister Christian Lindner, the host of the meeting, told reporters. That IMF support helps guarantee financial stability, he said.

The announcement follows the US Senate’s approval of more than $40 billion in assistance for Ukraine, sending the bill to President Joe Biden for his signature. From that, the US is contributing $7.5 billion to the G-7 plan.

The communique also welcomed “ongoing work across the G-7 and international financial institutions on further substantial financing to Ukraine.” That may include another 9.5

billion euros ($10 billion) of “additional macro-financial assistance.”

Donbas ‘destroyed’ as Russia intensifies attack in region

Russian forces bombarded areas of Donbas on Friday, destroying houses and killing a number of civilians, Ukrainian officials said. President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said the assaults had turned the Donbas into “hell”.

Russia to halt gas flows to Finland from today

Russia’s Gazprom has informed Finland that it will halt flows of natural gas from Saturday morning, Finnish state-owned gas wholesaler Gasum said on Friday. Gasum has refused to pay Gazprom Export in rubles as Russia has requested European countries to do.

Russia paves way to sign up people over 40 for army

The Russian parliament said it would consider a bill to allow Russians over 40 and foreigners over 30 to sign up for the military. The website of the parliament’s lower house said the move would enable the military to utilise the skills of older professionals.

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