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Russian Money ‘doesn’t Belong To Anyone’ – Germany’s Scholz

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The profits generated from Moscow’s frozen assets can be used to support the Ukrainian military, the chancellor has argued

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has claimed that the money generated from Russia’s frozen assets in the EU does not belong to anyone, arguing once again that it can be used by Brussels to purchase weapons for Ukraine.

Speaking to reporters ahead of an EU summit in Brussels on Thursday, Scholz insisted that the bloc needs to boost financial and military support for Kiev and increase ammunition production to keep up with Ukraine’s needs.

He suggested that apart from the funds set aside by member states, additional resources for purchasing weapons for Kiev could come from the “windfall profits” from Russia’s frozen assets. 

“We are talking about proceeds that can be used because they do not belong to anyone and therefore can be used by the European Union,” he said, adding that these funds must be used with a “clear direction,” such as procuring ammunition for Ukraine. 

Following the launch of Russia’s military operation against Ukraine in February 2022, the EU and other G7 nations froze over $300 billion worth of Russian foreign exchange reserves, with around $200 billion being held in the EU.

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Hungary against using Russian funds to arm Ukraine – DW

In recent months, EU officials have begun discussing either completely seizing these funds and spending them on military support for Ukraine, or at least using the interest generated by the assets.

Initially, Brussels considered only using the windfall income to support the reconstruction of Ukraine after the end of the conflict. However, in light of Kiev’s difficult situation on the battlefield in recent months, EU officials, including the bloc’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, have insisted on using Russia’s money for military support.

Earlier this week, Borrell proposed allocating 90% of the income from the funds to procure shells for Kiev and using the remaining 10% to support Kiev’s defense industry.

On Thursday, Scholz said he believes there is “broad unity” on the issue within the EU. However, according to a DW report earlier this week, the proposal could be blocked by Hungary. Unlike many of its EU peers, Budapest has not been blindly supportive of Ukraine in the conflict, refusing to send weapons to Kiev and opposing certain economic sanctions on Russia.

Moscow has warned that any actions taken against its assets would amount to theft. It has stressed that seizing the funds or any similar move would violate international law and undermine Western currencies, the global financial system, and the world economy.

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Victims of Domestic Violence Rally Against Proposed Joint Custody Laws in Japan, Citing Legal System Flaws

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In Japan, the debate over joint custody laws reveals deep societal concerns about family violence and its impact on victims. Critics argue the proposed joint custody laws could endanger victims by inadvertently reconnecting them with abusive ex-partners. Demonstrations have taken place, with advocates arguing that the system lacks effective measures to protect those affected by family violence.

Women, disproportionately impacted, represent a higher percentage of abuse reports. Allegations of physical abuse backed by photographic evidence and medical reports have been dismissed by the courts, leaving victims feeling helpless and ignored. On the other hand, parents deprived of their children’s presence argue the legal system fails to address their grievances or consider the emotional harm inflicted on both children and parents.

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Electricians’ Union Raises Alarm Over Unsafe Practices in Solar Industry

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In Australia, safety and employment conditions in the solar farm industry are raising concerns. There have been reports of unqualified workers, including backpackers on working holiday visas, doing electrical tasks that legally require licensed electricians. The electrical trades union has pointed out cases where trade assistants without proper qualifications or supervision performed risky electrical work.

Incidents include workers installing solar panels in water, posing a risk of electrocution. Poor working conditions have led to dissatisfaction among electricians, who feel their safety concerns and expertise are being ignored. The industry is currently facing a significant demand for electricians due to the rapid expansion of solar farm constructions, with 34 projects underway. The union is urging the renewable energy sector to invest in training a new generation of electricians to meet this demand.

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Tesla Faces Backlash from Cybertruck Owners Citing Multiple Performance Flaws

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