G7 pledges billions for Ukraine 'to get through this'

Updated on May 20, 2022 03:15 AM IST
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told reporters at the G7 finance leaders' meeting in Germany: "The message was, 'We stand behind Ukraine. We're going to pull together with the resources that they need to get through this.'"
Ukrainian children play territorial defence fighters patrolling in the village of Stoyanka, Kyiv region.(AFP)
Ukrainian children play territorial defence fighters patrolling in the village of Stoyanka, Kyiv region.(AFP)
Reuters |

The Group of Seven agreed on Thursday to provide Ukraine with $18.4 billion to pay its bills, funds that Ukraine's Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said would speed up Kyiv's victory over Russia and which were just as important as "the weapons you provide".

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told reporters at the G7 finance leaders' meeting in Germany: "The message was, 'We stand behind Ukraine. We're going to pull together with the resources that they need to get through this.'"

Earlier on Thursday Shmyhal had written on Twitter, "Support of partners will speed up our victory... Despite Russia's efforts to destroy our economy, together we will win!"

Further pledges of weapons also came on Thursday, as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Thursday he has authorized $100 million in additional U.S. arms, equipment, and supplies for Ukraine.

The past week has seen Russia secure its biggest victory since the invasion began, with Kyiv announcing it had ordered its garrison in a steelworks in Mariupol to stand down, after a nearly three-month siege of the city.

Russian forces have lost ground elsewhere, however, driven from northern Ukraine and the area around the capital at the end of March, and pushed this month from the outskirts of the second-largest city Kharkiv.

In Washington, U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday threw his support behind Sweden and Finland's bids to join NATO in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Finland and Sweden's move reverses generations of military non-alignment and is the biggest shake-up in European security for decades.

NATO member Turkey has objected, accusing the two Nordic states of harbouring Kurdish militants, but Biden and European leaders said they were confident Turkey's concerns could be addressed.

Biden, hosting Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and Finnish President Sauli Niinistö at the White House, told reporters: "I think we're going to be OK".

Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan said late on Wednesday, "We have told allies that we will say no to Finland and Sweden's NATO membership," adding, "NATO is a security alliance and we cannot accept terrorists to be in it."

Niinisto said Finland would commit to Turkey's security, adding, "We condemn terrorism in all its forms and we are actively engaged in combating it."

MARIUPOL STEELWORKS

The ultimate outcome of the bloodiest battle in Europe for decades has remained unclear, with no confirmation of the fate of hundreds of Ukrainian defenders. Moscow said on Thursday that 1,730 Ukrainian fighters had surrendered so far, including 771 in the past 24 hours.

Ukraine, which says it aims to secure a prisoner swap, has not said how many were inside the plant or commented on the fate of the rest since confirming that just over 250 had surrendered in the initial hours after it ordered them to yield.

The Switzerland-based International Committee of the Red Cross said it has registered hundreds of prisoners from the plant now held by Russia, but it has not given a precise number.

The leader of Russian-backed separatists in control of the area said nearly half of the fighters remained inside the steelworks, where underground bunkers and tunnels had protected them from weeks of Russian bombardment.

"More than half have laid down their arms," Denis Pushilin told the Solovyov Live internet television channel. "Let them surrender, let them live, let them honestly face the charges for all their crimes."

The wounded were given medical treatment while those who were fit were taken to a penal colony and were being treated well, he said. Ukrainian officials say they cannot comment publicly on their fate while negotiations are under way to rescue them.

Russia denies it agreed to a prisoner swap. Many of the Azovstal defenders belong to a Ukrainian unit with far-right origins, the Azov Regiment, which Moscow calls Nazis and says must be prosecuted for crimes.

UKRAINE ADVANCES

Oleksiy Gromov, Deputy Chief of the Main Operational Department of the General Staff of Ukraine's Armed Forces, told an online briefing that Ukraine had recaptured 23 settlements near Kharkiv in the last two weeks.

On Thursday, the crash of artillery duels resounded across sunlit fields and woodlands north of Kharkiv near the village Slatyne.

Ukrainian troops said fighting was under way around the nearby village of Demetiivka, which the Ukrainian military said was recaptured the previous day, about 8 km from the Russian border.

But Russia is still pressing its main offensive using massed artillery and armour, trying to capture more territory in the eastern Donbas, comprised of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, which Moscow claims on behalf of separatists.

Ukraine's general staff said Russia's attacks were focused on Donetsk. Russian forces "suffered significant losses" around Slovyansk to the north of Donetsk.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • In this August 9, 1945 file photo, a mushroom cloud rises moments after the atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, southern Japan.

    77 years for Atomic Bombing- Nagasaki marks anniversary

    Nagasaki paid tribute to the victims of the US atomic bombing 77 years ago on Aug 9, with the mayor saying Russia's war on Ukraine showed the world that another nuclear attack is not just a worry but "a tangible and present crisis". Read Reducing the risk of a nuclear war The United States dropped the world's first atomic bomb on Hiroshima on Aug 6, 1945, destroying the city and killing 140,000 people.

  • Yuan Wang 5 vessel is used by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). (File image)

    SL reaffirms excellent relations with China post deferring visit by Chinese ship

    Sri Lanka on Tuesday said its “excellent relations” with China remain on a solid foundation even as it explained that it had deferred a proposal for a Chinese research vessel to call at Hambantota port because of the need for further consultations. The vessel, equipped with powerful radars and surveillance equipment, was earlier scheduled to call at Hambantota port, which is controlled by China, on August 11 for replenishment.

  • File photo of mass testing for coronavirus.

    Chinese cities in Tibet begin mass Covid testing as clusters grow in Hainan

    Parts of Tibet are running mass COVID-19 testing on Tuesday, including the Chinese autonomous region's two largest cities, to fight a rare flare-up, while clusters were growing in tropical Hainan and in Xinjiang in China's west. Subvariants of the highly transmissible Omicron are challenging China's strategy of swiftly blocking the spread of each nascent cluster. Mainland China reported 828 new domestically transmitted cases for Aug. 8, official data showed on Tuesday.

  • A Chinese military jet flies over Pingtan island, one of mainland China's closest points to Taiwan, in Fujian province on Saturday. 

    Beijing using Pelosi as an excuse for war games, says Taiwan

    China used the visit of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taipei as a pretext to hold war games in the region that helped prepare it for a possible invasion of the island, Taiwan's foreign minister said, adding Beijing had been planning the move for some time. Taiwan responded by deploying aircraft and vessels, issuing radio warnings and deploying land-based missile systems to monitor the activities.

  • Biden administration to allow new injection method for monkeypox vaccine: Report (PIC FOR REPRESENTATION)

    Biden administration to allow new injection method for monkeypox vaccine: Report

    The Biden administration has decided to stretch out its limited supply of monkeypox vaccine by allowing a different method of injection that uses one-fifth as much per shot, the New York Times reported on Monday, citing senior officials familiar with the planning. The United States declared monkeypox a public health emergency last week, in an effort to bolster the U.S. response to contain the outbreak. Also read: Monkeypox now a health emergency in US.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Tuesday, August 09, 2022
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now