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Putin says ‘theft’ of Russian assets in G7 deal for Ukraine won’t go unpunished

Russian President Vladimir Putin said the West’s seizure of Russian sovereign assets was theft and warned it would not go unpunished.

Mr Putin, who was speaking at a meeting with Russian foreign ministry officials on Friday, said the way the West had treated Moscow showed that “anyone” could fall victim to a similar Western asset freeze.

“Despite all the chicanery, theft will certainly remain theft. And it will not go unpunished”, he said.

“Now it is becoming obvious to all countries, companies (and) sovereign funds that their assets and reserves are far from safe in both the legal and economic sense of the word.

“Anyone could be next in line for expropriation by the US and the West.”

His remarks came after the leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) major democracies agreed on a deal to provide $50bn (£39.2bn) of loans for Ukraine using profits from frozen Russian assets.

Mr Putin warned the world had reached a point of no return due to what he described as the collapse of the “Western model” of global security.

He accused the US of undermining global security because of its exit from arms pacts, and proposed building a new security system.

“We are witnessing the collapse of the Euro-Atlantic security system,” he said, according to Russia Ria Novosti news agency.

“The time has come to begin a broad discussion of a new system of bilateral and multilateral guarantees of collective security in Eurasia.

“At the same time, in the future, we must work towards a gradual reduction in the military presence of external powers in the Eurasian region.”

He said a new global security system would be open to all countries, including European members of Nato. “We live on the same continent, no matter what happens, we cannot change the geography, one way or another we will have to coexist and work together,” he added.

This story is being updated

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