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JUST IN: Biden lays out $33bn US support package proposal for Ukraine

…as German energy giant gives in to Russian rouble demand

US President Joe Biden is at the podium at the White House and is outlining his plans to offer more support to Ukraine.

He will ask Congress for $33bn (£27bn) in military, economic and humanitarian assistance to support Ukraine “for the next five months”.

The package includes more than $20bn in military aid, $8.5bn in economic aid and $3bn in humanitarian aid, reports the BBC.

Biden says the US is not attacking Russia but instead helping Ukraine defend itself against Russian aggression.

“Just as Putin made the choice to begin this brutal invasion, he could make the choice to end it,” he says.

“Russia is the aggressor and the world must, and will hold, Russia accountable.”

He says the Russian invasion is yielding immense human cost in the horrifying evidence of atrocities and war crimes in areas they try to control.

Meanwhile, one of Germany’s biggest energy firms has said it is preparing to buy Russian gas using a payment system that critics say will undermines EU sanctions.

Uniper says it will pay in euros which will be converted into roubles, meeting a Kremlin demand for all transactions to be made in the Russian currency.

Other European energy firms are reportedly preparing to do the same amid concerns about supply cuts.

Uniper said it had no choice but said it was still abiding by EU sanctions.

The European Commission said last week that if buyers of Russian gas could complete payments in euros and get confirmation of this before any conversion into roubles took place, that would not breach sanctions.

 

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