Ukraine. President Zelensky says progress of Ukrainian counterattack is ‘slower than would be desired’

Before the summer holidays, the European Commission will present a proposal on how the proceeds from the embargoed Russian assets can be used for the reconstruction of Ukraine. This was announced by President Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday at an international conference in London.

At a conference on the reconstruction of Ukraine in the British capital, Kiev’s Western allies once again stressed that Russia must pay for the damage it has caused to its neighbor. Von der Leyen emphasized that “the intruder must be held responsible.”

One option is to use the proceeds from Russian assets that have been frozen on European soil since the beginning of the invasion. The legal framework has been under consideration for some time. “We will come up with a proposal for these assets before the summer holidays,” von der Leyen said.

Belgium requires it. Our country decided in March to use interest taxes on withheld assets to support Ukraine, but it wants to be able to use the full interest. “We want to play a leading role in this,” Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said after meeting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in The Hague last month.

According to von der Leyen, the proceeds, in addition to the European budget and loans in the capital markets, could become one of the sources of financing the new facility for Ukraine that it introduced on Tuesday. The facility is supposed to provide up to 50 billion euros to support the country until 2027, both for urgent financing needs and for reconstruction.

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The money also works to support Ukraine on its path to membership in the European Union. For von der Leyen, “there is no doubt” that Ukraine will join. She said Kiev was advancing its reform agenda with “astonishing speed and determination”.

The European Union made Ukraine a candidate country last year. However, the country still needs to take steps before accession negotiations begin. European Commissioner for Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi will give an oral report on Thursday at an informal meeting of European affairs ministers in Stockholm on the progress Kiev has already made.

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Denton Watson

"Friend of animals everywhere. Evil twitter fan. Pop culture evangelist. Introvert."

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