Ukraine asks G7 for $50 billion
Ukrainian has requested $50 billion in financial support from the G7 countries to cover a budget deficit largely created by the military conflict with Russia. The call came from government economic adviser Oleg Ustenko in a television address on Sunday.
Kiev is also considering issuing 0% coupon bonds to bridge the fiscal gap, as the country is currently facing an estimated $7 billion deficit a month.
While there are have been no agreements on new financial aid, Ustenko claimed the issue will be “actively discussed” with Ukraine's Western backers over the next week.
In the meantime, the World Bank is preparing a $1.5 billion support package for the country. The loan will include a $1-billion payment from the development lender’s fund for the poorest states. The funding comes on top of about $923 million in fast-disbursing financing approved by the institution last month.
The US and NATO have also been sending billions of dollars Ukraine’s way, although in the form of military aid rather than cash. The White House, just last week, approved yet another $800 million in weapons, ammunition, and other military assistance, including artillery systems, rounds, armored personnel carriers, and helicopters. It comes less than a month after Washington sent an $800 million bundle of anti-aircraft systems, firearms, ammo, and body armor Kiev’s way, last month.
Washington’s contribution has been matched by that of the European Union and several individual member states, including Germany and Sweden, some of which have violated their own long-standing policies of not supplying lethal aid to countries at war by flooding Ukraine with anti-tank weapons, Stinger missiles, and armored vehicles, among other military equipment.
However, even amid a constant stream of military support by the US and its NATO allies, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky tweeted a video calling for the rest of the world to #ArmUkraineNow – complete with a very specific grocery list of desired equipment. Should countries fail to deliver, the Ukrainian leader claimed, Poland, Moldova, Romania, and the Baltic states would quickly fall under the tanks of the Russian Army.
Moscow has repeatedly stated it has no plans to even occupy Ukraine, let alone invade neighboring nations, but the talking point has become a favorite for Zelensky.
Russia attacked the neighboring state in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German and French brokered protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.
The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.