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Ukraine requests $50bn in aid

Ukrainian economic adviser Oleh Ustenko has requested $50 billion in financial support from the G7 countries to cover the budget deficit created by the military conflict with Russia in a television address on Sunday. He said Kiev is also considering issuing 0% coupon bonds to bridge the fiscal gap.

In the meantime, the World Bank is preparing a $1.5 billion support package for Ukraine. The loan will include a $1-billion payment from the development lender’s fund for the poorest countries. The funding comes on top of about $923 million in fast-disbursing financing approved by the World Bank last month.

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The US and NATO have also been sending billions of dollars Ukraine’s way, although in the form of military aid rather than cash. The Biden administration just last week approved yet another $800 million in weapons, ammunition, and other military assistance including artillery systems, rounds, armored personnel carriers, and helicopters. It comes less than a month after Washington sent an $800 million bundle of anti-aircraft systems, firearms, ammo, and body armor Kiev’s way on March 16.

READ MORE: World Bank considers massive loan to Ukraine

Washington’s contribution has been matched by that of the European Union and several individual member states, including Germany and Sweden, some of which have violated their own long-standing policies of not supplying lethal aid to countries at war by flooding Ukraine with anti-tank weapons, Stinger missiles, and armored vehicles, among other military equipment.

However, even amid a constant stream of military aid by the US and NATO allies, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky tweeted a video calling for the rest of the world to #ArmUkraineNow – complete with a very specific grocery list of desired equipment. Should countries fail to deliver, the Ukrainian leader claimed, Poland, Moldova, Romania, and the Baltic states would quickly fall under the tank treads of the Russian army.

READ MORE: US says ‘nothing will dissuade’ it from arming Ukraine

Russia attacked the neighboring state in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German and French brokered protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.

The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.

Russia has repeatedly stated it has no plans to even occupy Ukraine, let alone invade neighboring nations, but the talking point has become a favorite for Zelensky. The president has likened the invasion of his country to various events in World War II, including Pearl Harbor and the Holocaust, as well as the September 11th terror attacks in his efforts to convince the rest of the world to open their hearts as well as their bank accounts to the plight of his country.

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