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EU seals a deal on using profits from frozen Russian assets to help arm Ukraine

In World
May 21, 2024

BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union countries announced on Tuesday that they have reached an agreement to use the profits earned from frozen Russian assets to provide military support to Ukraine and help rebuild the war-torn country.

The 27-nation EU is holding around 210 billion euros ($225 billion) in Russian central bank assets, most of it frozen in Belgium, in retaliation for Moscow’s war against Ukraine. It estimates that the interest on that money could provide around 3 billion euros ($3.3 billion) each year.

Ukraine is desperate to obtain weapons and ammunition as Russia presses its military advantage.

EU headquarters said that 90% of the money would be put into a special fund known as the European Peace Facility that many EU countries already use to get reimbursed for arms and ammunition they send to Ukraine.

The other 10% would be put into the EU budget. The programs that this money funds would help to bolster Ukraine’s defense industry or to help with reconstruction, should some countries object to their share being used for military purposes.

A small group of member states, notably Hungary, refuse to supply weapons to Ukraine.

Officials have said that a first tranche of the funds could be available in July.

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