Yellen Slams Putin’s ‘Theft’ Accusations Over Ukraine Loan

( – Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has responded to Vladimir Putin’s claim that a G7 plan to use Russian assets in support of Ukraine was “theft.” Yellen dismissed the label and said that impounded Russian assets accrue value to which Moscow has no claim. “There’s no legal issue here,” she said. The Secretary added that a furious Russian President Putin sees the new G7 agreement as evidence that Ukraine’s allies will not tire of supporting the embattled nation and limp away. “Putin believed our coalition would crumble,” she said.

During a meeting with officials from his Foreign Ministry, President Putin said the West would attempt to dress up its new deal and legitimize it with “some kind of legal basis,” but, he added, “theft is still theft, and it will not go unpunished.”

Mr. Putin additionally claimed that Western actions toward him and his country prove that no nation is safe from asset freezes ordered by America or Europe.

G7 leaders agreed at an Italian summit to loan $50 billion to Ukraine and fund this with interest accruing on Russian assets frozen after Moscow’s troops invaded Ukraine in February 2022. The G7 comprises Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States, with additional input from the European Union.

President Biden described the agreement as “significant” and “another reminder to Putin that we’re not backing down.”

Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin has indicated that he would end the war if Kyiv withdraws troops from Russian-occupied territory and renounces plans to join NATO. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Putin’s words amounted to an “ultimatum” aimed at gaining more territory.

However, Mr. Putin said the offer is the only way to end the conflict immediately, and he is willing to “start negotiations without delay.” The Russian leader’s demands also include protections for Russian-speaking populations, that Ukraine remains free of nuclear weapons, and restrictions placed on its military.

Ukrainian Presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said Putin’s proposals were a “complete sham.”

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