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Estonian parliament passes bill allowing use of frozen Russian assets for war reparations for Ukraine

by Nate Ostiller and The Kyiv Independent news desk May 15, 2024 6:52 PM 1 min read
The Estonian parliament building in Tallinn, Estonia, on Nov. 16, 2011. Photo for illustrative purposes. (Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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Estonia's parliament passed a bill on May 15 enabling the usage of frozen Russian assets to pay reparations for war damage in Ukraine.

Kyiv and its Western partners have long been discussing possible methods of using around $300 billion in Russian assets immobilized in Western accounts to fund Ukraine.

The Estonian government estimated in October 2023 that it held about 38 million euros ($41.3 million) of frozen Russian assets.

"We're one step closer to setting a historic precedent in Europe," said Prime Minister Kaja Kallas.

"Our parliament passed the first law in Europe to allow the use of Russia's frozen assets to compensate for war damages."

The bill must still be signed into law by Estonian President Alar Karis.

"Russia is an aggressor state, and the burden of compensating the war damage caused by it cannot be left to Ukraine and its allies," said Estonian lawmaker Hendrik Johannes Terras.

"Russia is responsible for causing the damages and must bear that responsibility," he continued.

The legislation has been discussed and refined for the last six months, including with outside help from experts.

Explaining Washington’s REPO Act that could kick-start the confiscation of frozen Russian assets
The U.S. on April 20 became the first nation to adopt legislation green-lighting confiscating frozen Russian assets for Ukraine. President Joe Biden signed the REPO Act alongside a $95 billion foreign aid bill that included $61 billion for Kyiv on April 24, setting the legal basis for liquidating i…
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