Brussels is pushing to give Ukraine €2bn-€3bn this year from profits derived from Russia’s frozen assets, accelerating the funding plan as US financial support to Kyiv wanes. The European Commission is preparing a plan, according to officials, that would involve seizing sanctions-related profits, dating from February onwards, earned at the central securities depository Euroclear. After months of wrangling, a first tranche of money could be disbursed as early as July if Brussels can secure approval of member states, officials said. The proposal is expected before a summit of EU leaders next week. Commission president Ursula von der Leyen has called for the funds to be used for military support, rather than postwar reconstruction as had been originally envisaged — a contentious approach for some capitals. About €190bn in Russian sovereign assets have been immobilised at Euroclear since Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022, generating €3.85bn in profits. The latest plans would provide between €2bn and €3bn to Ukraine this year, depending on interest rates, the officials said. The total profits siphoned from Euroclear could reach €20bn by 2027, according to EU officials. The hotly debated question of whether to use Russian funds tied up in Brussels-based Euroclear to aid Ukraine has become more pressing as the war has entered its third year and international aid has dwindled. The depository holds the bulk of the €260bn in Russian central bank assets frozen by western sanctions - FT


Donald Trump “will not give a penny” to Ukraine if he is re-elected US president, the far-right Hungarian prime minister, Viktor Orbán, said after a controversial meeting with Trump in Florida. “He will not give a penny in the Ukraine-Russia war,” Orbán told state media in Hungary on Sunday. “Therefore, the war will end, because it is obvious that Ukraine can not stand on its own feet. According to Orbán, Trump has a “detailed plan” to end the Ukraine war, which began two years ago when Russia invaded. Calling Trump “a man of peace”, Orbán said: “If the Americans don’t give money and weapons, along with the Europeans, the war is over. And if the Americans don’t give money, the Europeans alone can’t finance this war. And then the war is over.” (This would likely mean Ukraine losing the war to Russia.) - The Guardian


An aid ship loaded with some 200 tons of food set sail for Gaza on Tuesday in a pilot program for the opening of a sea corridor to the territory, where the five-month-old Israel-Hamas war has driven hundreds of thousands of Palestinians to the brink of starvation. The food was gathered by World Food Kitchen, the charity founded by celebrity chef José Andrés, and is being carried on a barge attached to a ship belonging to the Spanish aid group Open Arms. It is expected to arrive at an undisclosed location on the Gaza coastline in two to three days. Andrés and the Open Arms boat captain, Oscar Camps, confirmed the food was destined for northern Gaza - AP

Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry announced early Tuesday that he would resign once a transitional presidential council is created, capitulating to international pressure that seeks to save the country overwhelmed by violent gangs that some experts say have unleashed a low-scale civil war. Henry made the announcement hours after officials including Caribbean leaders and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met in Jamaica to urgently discuss a solution to halt Haiti’s spiraling crisis. Henry has been because the violence closed its main international airports. He had arrived in Puerto Rico a week ago, after being barred from landing in the Dominican Republic, where officials said he lacked a required flight plan. Dominican officials also closed the airspace to flights to and from Haiti - AP


Ukrainian men living abroad feel conflicted about returning home as war rages on with shortage of troops, the Globe and Mail reports. Ukraine needs up to 500,000 additional soldiers to replenish exhausted troops. The Canadian newspaper reports that there are nearly 770,000 male refugees over 18 living in EU countries, with thousands more in Canada, Britain and the U.S.

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Comments ( 1)
David Steel
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Contrary to the Trump / Orban assertion that if America does not give a penny to Ukraine the war will end, it will not.

Everyone in Europe knows that far from ending the war, Putin will accept the Trump position as a green light to invade Moldova and continue moving West unopposed until he is stopped. Putin has stated that 'Russia has no border' and his intention is clear.

Trump ending funding will actually prolong the war, the exact opposite of what he says will happen. He is assuming Putin's appetite for conquest is sated, we know otherwise.