‘Allies’ ramp up support for Ukraine

EU, G7, US squeezing Kremlin war chest dry.

Ukraine’s Western allies have set a price cap on Russian petroleum exports while the United States will add rocket bombs to its next batch of arms and munitions delivery to Kyiv.

Starting Sunday or soon after, Russian refined oil products such as petrol and diesel arriving on ships will be priced at $100 per barrel while fuel oil will be $45 per barrel, officials from the European Union and Group of Seven industrialized countries said on Friday.

The EU and G7 have also agreed to impose a price cap on Russian shipments of those products to global markets.

“We must continue to deprive Russia of the means to wage war against Ukraine,” European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said in Brussels Friday, Agence France-Presse reported.

“With the G7 we are putting price caps on these products, cutting Russia’s revenue while ensuring stable global energy markets,” she said.

Von der Leyen on Thursday estimated during a visit to Kyiv that the existing price cap on Russian oil was already costing Moscow around 160 million euros ($175 million) every day.

In response, the Kremlin warned the price caps will “lead to a further imbalance of the international energy markets.”

Rocket bombs

Meanwhile, new rocket-propelled precision bomb that could nearly double Kyiv’s strike range against Russian forces form part of a new $2.2-billion package of arms and munitions from Washington, the Pentagon said Friday.

The ground-launched small-diameter bombs, which can fly up to 150 kilometers, could threaten key Russian supply lines, arms depots and air bases far behind the front lines, AFP reports.

France and Italy will deliver mobile surface-to-air missile systems, the French defense ministry said.

Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov, who had requested the weapons, tweeted his gratitude, saying the systems would “help us save thousands of lives” from Russian attacks.

Kyiv is also asking for fighter jets.

It has already secured promises from the West for deliveries of modern battle tanks.

In Washington, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Friday during a meeting with Ukrainian Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin he has “authorized the first-ever transfer of forfeited Russian assets for use in Ukraine.”

The $5.4 million coming from assets confiscated from Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofeyev after his indictment on sanctions evasions in April will go to the US State Department “to support the people of Ukraine,” CNN quoted Garland as saying.

“All Ukrainians have, in one way or another, suffered from this war. It’s our obligation to ensure the Ukrainian people receive compensation for all the tremendous damage done,” Kostin said in a tweet.


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