The EU confirms its intention to withdraw profits from Russian assets to help Ukraine

The EU confirms its intention to withdraw profits from Russian assets to help Ukraine


The leaders of the countries of the European Union say that they have reached an agreement on the methods of using revenues from Russian assets frozen by sanctions to finance aid to Ukraine in defense against Russian aggression.

The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said that “the first billion can be received as early as July 1.”

“So it’s up to us. It’s in our hands. If we’re quick, concrete action will be in the summer,” she said.

In a statement after the meetings at the meeting of the heads of state and government of 27 countries in Brussels on March 21, it is said that the EU executive bodies are authorized to develop mechanisms for the implementation of those intentions:

“The European Council considered progress on further concrete steps to direct extraordinary income from Russia’s immobilized assets to the benefit of Ukraine, including the possibility of financing military aid. She asks the Council to work further with the recent proposals of the High Representative and the Commission.”

EU High Representative for Security and Foreign Policy Josep Borel told reporters that the implementation of that plan could provide “€3 billion a year for Ukrainian defense.”

The largest part of the Russian funds frozen by Western sanctions are the assets of the Central Bank of Russia, worth approximately 190 billion euros, as well as tens of billions belonging to Russian companies and individuals.

The main idea of ​​this EU plan is to send approximately 90% of the income from those assets to a special European Peace Support Fund and use that money to purchase weapons, as well as to help rebuild Ukraine.

The largest share of Russian state assets is frozen in the accounts of Euroclear, a company registered in Belgium.

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander de Croo said on March 22 that his government agrees with the proposals announced in the EU.

“On the Belgian side, we have already used the proceeds from income taxes, separating them and giving them to Ukraine in full. But with regard to the income itself, it is important that sufficient macroeconomic stability is ensured. To ensure full protection in terms of legality, and so that it does not have macroeconomic consequences that would be difficult to address. I am actually quite confident about the opposition presented by the European Commission. As for the use of those revenues, the supply of ammunition is now urgent. Obviously I’d like investment in rebuilding, but rebuilding is a bit pointless if you’re losing the war. So that’s the first priority. And it’s good that we came to an agreement. I think a few weeks ago this was not expected. But it shows that such summits are useful. We come to an agreement and we reach good agreements,” said the Belgian Prime Minister.

Alexander do Croo and other leaders have spoken of agreement despite warnings from some quarters in the west.

“In Brussels, they can dictate anything, but we remain on the side of peace,” Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban announced in a Facebook post on March 22.

Hungary declares that it does not want to participate in the European military aid intended to support the defense of Ukraine.

There are also reports that the representative of Austria also emphasized humanitarian rather than military aid to Ukraine.

Fears of bankers

Reuters reported on March 22 that some unnamed Western banks oppose plans to use frozen Russian assets to help Ukraine.

Referring to anonymous “prominent representatives” of the banking industry, the agency says that they are afraid of expensive lawsuits against the background of Moscow’s intentions to defend Russian interests.

According to the report, those bankers fear that Western governments will eventually decide not only to withdraw the proceeds from Russian frozen assets, but also to go for their full confiscation.

Such confiscation is supported by Ukraine and some voices in the West who say Russian assets should be used to compensate for the damage caused by the war Russia started.

Some financiers believe that such confiscation would lead to the destruction of confidence in the Western banking system.

Sanctions of the EU, the USA and Great Britain generally involve the freezing of assets of legal entities and individuals, but not confiscation.

Although English laws allow the confiscation of proceeds of crime.


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