G7 leaders agree to send $50bn of frozen Russian assets to Ukraine

The US military has vowed to help Ukraine build up its military expertise over 10 years
The US military has vowed to help Ukraine build up its military expertise over 10 years - Bumble Dee/Alamy

The leaders of the G7 have agreed to send Ukraine $50bn (£39bn) by the end of the year by using Russian assets frozen in Europe.

The countries came to an agreement on Wednesday after significant pressure from the US, which has argued the profits from Russian assets should be used to secure loans for Kyiv.

The deal will provide a major funding boost for Ukraine as it enters another summer of conflict with Russia, after making fewer territorial gains than expected this Spring.

The US separately said it would sign a security agreement with Kyiv to lock in American support for a decade, amid concerns about the impact a second Donald Trump presidency could have on Ukraine’s warfighting ability.

Jake Sullivan, the White House national security adviser, said the US would “be sending Russia a signal of our resolve” by making sure that support will “last long into the future”.

The agreement will include a commitment to working with the US Congress on funding Ukraine going forward but will not commit to using American forces on the ground.

The deal, which will also be signed by 15 other countries, will pledge continued weapon shipments and training programmes to build Kyiv’s armed forces, as well as commitments for greater intelligence sharing and joint defence industrial projects.

The two deals will come as a major boost to Ukraine ahead of the next Nato summit in July, where leaders are expected to outline further security commitments but refuse to move the country closer to joining the alliance.

The $50bn in loans will be secured against the profits from Russian assets frozen in Europe since Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Speaking ahead of the G7 summit in Italy tomorrow, the Elysee Palace in Paris said: “We have an agreement.”

While US president Joe Biden has made supporting Ukraine’s resistance against Russia one of his flagship policies, his Republican rival Donald Trump has said Washington should take less responsibility for efforts to bolster Kyiv.

Britain was the first country to sign a memorandum of understanding with Ukraine after G7 countries signed a declaration on providing long-term protections for Ukraine in lieu of Nato membership.

Joe Biden has made supporting Ukraine one of his flagship policies
Joe Biden has made supporting Ukraine one of his flagship policies - Evan Vucci/ap

The American deal will be the 15th of more than 30 bilateral agreements signed between Kyiv and its Western allies since the idea was conceived on the fringes of a Nato summit in Vilnius, Lithuania last July.

Like its allies, Washington’s offer will not contain a specific monetary pledge or a promise of a mutual defence clause, similar to Nato’s Article 5.

Instead, Ukraine will be able to trigger emergency consultations over future weapons shipments, troop training programmes and the reintroduction of Western sanctions if Russia mounts another attack on the country.

The UK, France and Germany included similar provisions in their security agreements with Kyiv.

It has taken months of negotiations to broker the pact between Washington and Kyiv because the Biden administration decided to focus on unlocking a $60 billion aid package that was stalled by pro-Trump Republicans in Congress.

The Ukrainians will welcome the deal, but Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine’s president, has previously warned such agreements are no substitute for Nato membership.

Nato sources have told The Telegraph that the dozens of memoranda of understanding will be brought together under an umbrella agreement backed by the alliance to further reassure Kyiv of the West’s commitment to maintain support for the war effort.

“Hopefully the US will agree and then I think we will see some sort of presentation of these bilateral memoranda of understanding with a chapeau on it. But basically we’re waiting from the Americans, they’ll come up with a proposal,” a senior alliance official said.

It has been suggested that Nato could officialise its support for the security deals in the summit communique agreed by leaders in Washington to demonstrate to Kyiv that there is a “well-lit bridge” to membership.