Reuters World News Summary
The commission proposed on Wednesday a 9 billion euro loan to Ukraine to keep the country going as it struggles to fend off the Russian invasion and wants to set up a reconstruction facility for after the war. Pakistan's new foreign minister seeks to broaden U.S. ties Pakistan's new Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said on Thursday he would like to pivot away from single-issue transactional relationship with the United States as he seeks to repair frayed ties with Washington.
Following is a summary of current world news briefs.
EU exploring ways to use Russian oligarchs' frozen assets to rebuild Ukraine
The European Union is looking into ways of using the frozen assets of Russian oligarchs to fund the reconstruction of Ukraine after the war, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Thursday. The commission proposed on Wednesday a 9 billion euro loan to Ukraine to keep the country going as it struggles to fend off the Russian invasion and wants to set up a reconstruction facility for after the war.
Pakistan's new foreign minister seeks to broaden U.S. ties
Pakistan's new Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said on Thursday he would like to pivot away from single-issue transactional relationship with the United States as he seeks to repair frayed ties with Washington. "Our relationship with the United States has been colored too much by the geopolitical context in our region, and particularly by the events and circumstances in Afghanistan," Bhutto-Zardari told reporters at the United Nations during his first visit to the United States as foreign minister.
U.S. appears set to deem Cuba not cooperating fully against terrorism-document
The Biden administration on Thursday appeared set to renew its assessment that Cuba is among a handful of countries "not cooperating fully" with the United States in the fight against terrorism, according to a government document. Formal publication of the decision was scheduled for Friday, but Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez, apparently responding to a draft notice in the Federal Register signed by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, condemned it as “one more lie” coming from Washington.
Blinken accuses Russia of using food as a weapon in Ukraine
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken accused Russia on Thursday of using food as a weapon in Ukraine by holding "hostage" the food supply for not just millions of Ukrainians, but also millions around the world who rely on Ukrainian exports. Addressing the United Nations Security Council, Blinken appealed to Russia to stop blockading Ukrainian ports. Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24 to carry out what Moscow calls a "special military operation."
Ukraine's industrial Donbas region, the focus of recent Russian offensives, has been destroyed, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said as some of the world's richest countries pledged to bolster Kyiv with billions of dollars. Since turning away from Ukraine's capital, Russia is using massed artillery and armour to try to capture more territory in the Donbas, comprised of the Donetsk and Luhansk areas, which Moscow claims on behalf of separatists.
The White House is working to put advanced anti-ship missiles in the hands of Ukrainian fighters to help defeat Russia's naval blockade, officials said, amid concerns more powerful weapons that could sink Russian warships would intensify the conflict. Ukraine has made no secret it wants more advanced U.S. capabilities beyond its current inventory of artillery, Javelin and Stinger missiles, and other arms. Kyiv's list, for example, includes missiles that could push the Russian navy away from its Black Sea ports, allowing the restart of shipments of grain and other agricultural products worldwide.
G7 agree on $18.4 billion to keep Ukraine running, ready with more
The Group of Seven's financial leaders agreed on Thursday on $18.4 billion to help Ukraine pay its bills in coming months and said they were ready to stand by Kyiv throughout its war with Russia and do more if needed, a draft communique showed. Finance ministers and central bank governors of the United States, Japan, Canada, Britain, Germany, France and Italy - the G7 - are holding talks as Ukraine, invaded by Russia on Feb. 24, is struggling to fend off the attack and is running out of cash.
Biden administration authorizes $100 million more in Ukraine military aid
President Joe Biden's administration authorized $100 million of additional military aid to Ukraine on Thursday, the latest in a series of transfers to help Kyiv repel Russia's invasion, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said. The new transfers will be the tenth time that Biden has used his Presidential Drawdown Authority (PDA) to help Ukraine and would account for the $100 million remaining in that funding, which allows the president to authorize the transfer of excess weapons from U.S. stocks without congressional approval in response to an emergency.
President Joe Biden is likely to get a warm welcome from South Korea's leadership on his first trip to Asia, but he may face a less friendly greeting from North Korea's Kim Jong Un. Biden lands in South Korea on Friday evening, where he meets new President Yoon Suk-yeol, a relative newcomer to politics, for the first time in person. The two will tour a Samsung Electronics plant together Friday ahead of a full day of events on Saturday.
Ecuador president to attend U.S.-hosted Summit of the Americas
Ecuadorean President Guillermo Lasso will attend the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles next month, he said on Thursday during a visit to the South American country by U.S. first lady Jill Biden. Lasso's decision is a boost to the summit due to be hosted by the United States, because a number of Latin American leaders have cast doubt on their attendance.
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