Biden, France's Macron reach agreement on using Russian assets for Ukraine

BELLEAU, France (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden said on Sunday he had reached an agreement with French President Emmanuel Macron on the use of profits from frozen Russian assets to help Ukraine.

Asked if the two men had discussed the issue and whether they had come up with an agreement, Biden replied “Yes and yes.”

The Group of Seven nations and the European Union are considering how to use profits generated by Russian assets immobilized in the West to provide Ukraine with a large up-front loan now and secure Kyiv’s financing for 2025.

Around 260 billion euros ($280.9 billion) of Russian central bank funds are frozen worldwide, most of it in the EU. The funds generate 2.5 billion to 3.5 billion euros a year in profit, which the EU says is not contractually owed to Russia and therefore represents a windfall.

The idea, championed by the U.S., is to use this profit as a steady revenue stream to service a large loan of $50 billion that could be raised on the market. Russia says any diversion of the profits from its frozen funds would amount to theft.

Tapping profits from Russian assets has drawn concerns from some countries, but a U.S. Treasury official said on Tuesday that the United States and its G7 partners were making progress.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason and Katharine Jackson; Writing by Arshad Mohammed; Editing by Scott Malone and Bill Berkrot)

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