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Sunak to announce funding for Ukraine at G7 summit

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak with President Volodymyr Zelensky (Stefan Rousseau/PA)
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak with President Volodymyr Zelensky (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Rishi Sunak will announce up to £242 million in bilateral assistance to Ukraine at the G7 summit in Puglia.

The package is to be used for immediate humanitarian, energy and stabilisation needs in Ukraine and to lay the foundations for longer term economic and social recovery and reconstruction, the Prime Minister said.

The £242 million was allocated before Mr Sunak called a General Election for July 4.

The UK and G7 leaders agree that Moscow must pay for the damage it is causing Ukraine and will therefore explore how to use immobilised Russian assets – 285 billion dollars (£222 billion) worth of which are held in G7 jurisdictions – to support Ukraine, the Prime Minister said.

Mr Sunak said: “We must be decisive and creative in our efforts to support Ukraine and end Putin’s illegal war at this critical moment.

“The UK remains at the forefront of the international response as we have been from the outset. We must move from ‘as long as it takes’ to ‘whatever it takes’ if we are to end this illegal war.

Rishi Sunak gestures as he answers a question
Rishi Sunak will press other leaders to recognise migration challenges (James Manning/PA)

“From Ukraine to the Middle East, we will be discussing significant global threats at the summit. Such threats are why it is so vital to strengthen the UK’s national defence, through our commitment to spend 2.5% of GDP on defence by 2030.”

The summit in Italy comes as Mr Sunak continues to face pressure at home over his decision to leave D-Day commemorations in France. The backlash has dominated his election campaign for the last week.

Foreign Secretary Lord David Cameron took Mr Sunak’s place at a ceremony with leaders including US President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron, who the Prime Minister will meet at the G7 summit.

During the summit, Mr Sunak will also press other leaders to recognise migration challenges “across the route” and to take collective action.

He touted his flagship Rwanda scheme – which he says will go ahead with deportations starting in July if his party is re-elected – during a recent trip to Austria.

Fifteen EU countries, including Austria, signed a letter last month calling on the European Commission to tighten migration policy and to look at third country schemes.

At the Puglia summit, Mr Sunak will also attend sessions on the Middle East, economic security and China, and a credible G7 and UK offer to “the global majority”.