U.S. Treasury Secretary Yellen Stresses Urgency in Accessing Frozen Russian Assets for Ukraine Aid

Yellen Urges Swift Access to Frozen Russian Assets for Ukraine Aid

In a press briefing held in Frankfurt, Germany, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen reiterated the imperative need to access frozen Russian assets for the benefit of Ukraine. She emphasized that this push is not influenced by the looming U.S. presidential election in November but rather by the pressing needs of Kyiv.

Yellen’s Remarks on Ukraine’s Substantial Needs

Addressing reporters, Secretary Yellen underscored the gravity of Ukraine’s situation, emphasizing the necessity to provide significant additional aid to the country. She clarified, “I’ve been consistently saying, irrespective of the election. That due to the significant needs of Ukraine. It’s crucial to demonstrate our capability to provide substantial additional assistance to them.”

Anticipated Endorsement at G-7 Summit

Secretary Yellen expressed hope that leaders of the Group of Seven (G-7) nations will endorse a plan currently under development during their summit in Apulia, Italy, slated for June 13-15. She stressed that while every detail doesn’t need to be finalized. Achieving a political agreement on the proposed approach would be highly beneficial.

Focus on Utilizing Frozen Russian Assets

Discussions on leveraging the value of frozen Russian assets will likely dominate meetings. Yellen and other G-7 finance ministers will convene in Stresa, Italy, commencing Thursday. The proposed plan involves using future revenue from approximately $280 billion in Russian central bank assets. Most of these assets are in Europe. They aim to support a $50 billion aid package for Ukraine.

Acceleration of Interest Proceeds Flow

During an earlier interview with Sky News, Yellen elaborated on the plan, stating that it “essentially accelerates the flow of interest proceeds,” according to The New York Times report. These proceeds are currently generated by the assets held at the Belgium-based clearinghouse Euroclear.

European Support for the Plan

In a development crucial for garnering European support, German officials have reportedly expressed readiness to endorse the plan, according to individuals familiar with the discussions. Aside from aid discussions, Secretary Yellen addressed the importance of sanctions enforcement during her visit to Frankfurt. She stressed the significance of the Atlantic alliance in upholding global security and economic prosperity.

Collaboration with European Banking Executives

Secretary Yellen engaged with European banking executives to explore measures aimed at curbing sanctions evasion by Russia and combating terrorist financing. Discussions also touched on strengthening sanctions enforcement and exploring potential measures to enhance the effectiveness of imposed sanctions. As the international community gears up for critical deliberations at the G-7 summit, Yellen’s emphasis on urgency underscores the gravity of the situation in Ukraine. It highlights the necessity for swift and decisive action.

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