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Russian assets won't substitute American aid to Ukraine - US Treasury Secretary

Russian assets won't substitute American aid to Ukraine - US Treasury Secretary Photo: US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen (Getty Images)
Author: Liliana Oleniak

Any plan to confiscate or monetize $300 billion in frozen Russian assets in favor of Ukraine cannot be seen as a substitute for urgently needed aid that has been delayed in Congress, according to US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

"I don’t see a real substitute for Congress providing Ukraine the aid it needs this year. I don’t think anyone can fill that gap," she says.

Although the European Union has offered Ukraine "very significant funding" and Japan has also contributed, "the total just doesn’t seem like enough," Yellen says. These funds could help the country cope shortly while Kyiv waits for more comprehensive assistance, she says.

Over $60 billion in proposed US emergency aid to Ukraine has been stuck in Congress for months as Republicans try to force President Joe Biden to change immigration policy. Yellen warned that without the aid, Ukraine could face serious difficulties.

Yellen acknowledges Europe's concerns over the confiscation of Russian assets but said her colleagues were open to working with the United States.

"Hearing that we think there’s a good international justification, that we can look for alternatives to try to mitigate the various risks, they’re certainly willing to work with us," she says.

Russian assets confiscation

According to Bloomberg, US President Joe Biden wants the G7 to make progress on plans to use frozen Russian assets by the time the leaders meet in June.

G7 officials and lawyers are studying a range of options that they can propose to national leaders at their June meeting in Italy.