G7 ministers move closer to Russian assets deal to help Ukraine

G7 finance ministers are expected Saturday to agree a broad plan to use interest from frozen Russian assets for Ukraine, paving the way for a potential agreement among leaders next month.

The challenge of finding more funds for Ukraine as it battles fresh territorial advances by Russia after more than two years of war has dominated a meeting of finance ministers from the world's richest democracies in the northern Italian city of Stresa.

The meeting comes as Kiev said it had "stopped" the Russian advance in the Kharkiv region but Ukraine's General Staff admitted Saturday "the enemy has partial success" and said "the situation is tense" as fighting continued.

President Volodymyr Zelensky has increased appeals for help as his army has struggled.

Washington on Friday announced a fresh $275 million package of military aid for Kiev.

And Ukrainian Finance Minister Sergii Marchenko was to attend Saturday's G7 meeting in Stresa seeking to tap interest from frozen Russian assets.

Any detailed agreement would require the approval of G7 leaders, who meet next month in Puglia, but observers have suggested that a deal "in principle" could be agreed on Saturday.

"We need to reach a declaration of principle that marks the overall agreement of the G7 countries to use revenues from Russian assets to finance Ukraine," French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said.

He said ministers aim to "reach a political agreement in principle, not a turnkey solution".

The European Union's economy commissioner, Paolo Gentiloni, also expressed cautious optimism, saying there was "a positive convergence" at the talks towards the concept of tapping profits from frozen Russian assets.

Calls have mounted this year in the West to set...

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