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‘Putin Cannot Wait Us Out’ – Ukraine at War Update for June 14

In the final sessions of a G7 summit in Southern Italy that produced a $50 billion loan to Ukraine, backed by frozen Russian assets, US President Joe Biden and Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky signed a 10-year-security pact that locked in American military aid and training through a presidential executive agreement with the current US administration.

It also includes promises to build Ukraine’s military and its own domestic weapons manufacturing.

“Today is a truly historic day,” Zelensky said at a joint press conference with Biden after signing the security agreement. “Our security agreement is a bridge to Ukraine’s membership in NATO.”

The White House, for its part, has maintained that Ukraine should have a path to membership in the Alliance but has excluded any possibility that this could happen while the Russian invasion is still ongoing.

Biden said the security agreement should strongly signal to Russia that “Putin cannot wait us out.”

“Today, the United States is sending a powerful signal of our strong support for Ukraine now and into the future,” a statement from the Biden administration read.

Specifically, the agreement lays out that Washington and Kyiv must consult with each other within 24 hours “at the highest levels” after any future armed attack by Russia.

Agence France Presse (AFP) noted that this was the 15th such bilateral agreement that allies have inked with Ukraine, including a pact with Japan also signed at the summit in the Italian region of Puglia.

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In response to Zelensky’s regular calls for more air defense systems for Ukraine, especially as Russian air strikes have destroyed more than half of Ukraine’s power-generating infrastructure, Biden said that five countries had already pledged to give US-made Patriot missiles to Ukraine. He noted that these countries would have to wait for manufacturers Raytheon and Lockheed-Martin to replenish their stocks until Ukraine’s needs were met.

Zelensky says Chinese president promises that none of their weapons will be sent to Russia

Coinciding with the G7 summit, Zelensky and Chinese President Xi Jinping reportedly had a call on which President Xi promised that no weapons from China would make their way into Russian hands.

“I had a phone conservation with the leader of China by phone,” Zelensky said at the joint press conference with Biden. “He said that he will not sell any weapons to Russia. We will see.

“He gave me his word,” Zelensky added.

In April, anonymous sources from the Biden administration told the AP that China has sent large shipments of machine tools, microelectronics, and other technology that Russia desperately needs in its invasion of Ukraine.

They said that in 2023 about 90 percent of Russia’s microelectronics came from China, as did nearly 70 percent of the machine tool imports that Moscow requires to make these weapons and military vehicles.

British government slaps 50 new sanctions on Moscow

On Thursday, the British government launched 50 new sanctions “to degrade Putin’s war machine, in a coordinated action with G7 partners to support Ukraine,” the government announced on its website.

“The UK will always stand shoulder to shoulder with Ukraine in its fight for freedom,” Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said. “Today we are once more ramping up economic pressure through sanctions to bear down on Russia’s ability to fund its war machine. Putin must lose, and cutting off his ability to fund a prolonged conflict is absolutely vital.”

Chief among the targets was Putin’s so-called “shadow fleet”, a mechanism by which Russia has thus far managed to avoid the West’s restriction on its shipped oil exports. The new sanctions also zeroed in on Moscow’s financial system and the imports of electronics and other key supplies in Moscow’s weapons production.

The sanctions were announced at the G7 summit in Italy.

“As part of its enduring commitment to the region, the UK has today committed to providing £242 million [$309 million] in bilateral assistance to Ukraine, to support immediate humanitarian, energy, and stabilization needs, and is also working with counterparts to agree on a mechanism to bring the extraordinary profits stemming from immobilized Russian sovereign assets to the benefit of Ukraine,” the government announced.

According to UK estimates, tax on oil production collected by the Kremlin in 2023 amounted to 8.9 trillion rubles, “or 31 percent of Russia’s total federal revenues” used to finance “Russia’s illegal war in Ukraine.”

“Today’s sanctions aim to disrupt and increase the costs of Russia’s efforts to bypass UK and G7 sanctions through its shadow fleet.”

London squarely blamed companies based in China, Israel, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkey for supplying Moscow with the tools it needs to build Putin’s “war machine.” It also spotlighted institutions “at the heart of Russia’s financial system, including the Moscow Stock Exchange.

So far, the British government calculated, sanctions have stripped Russia of more than $400 billion worth of assets and revenues since February 2022, noting that this is equivalent to four years of funding for the invasion.

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