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Estonia's parliamentary commission backs using frozen Russian assets to fund Ukraine

by Martin Fornusek and The Kyiv Independent news desk November 7, 2023 11:57 PM 2 min read
The Estonian parliament building in Tallinn, Estonia, on Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2011. (Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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The Constitutional Commission of the Estonian parliament supported the government's bill to use frozen Russian assets for funding Ukraine, the Estonian public broadcaster ERR reported on Nov. 7.

The bill will now be sent to the parliament for the first reading. It needs to pass through the legislature and be signed by the president to enter into force.

The Estonian government approved the draft law on Oct. 12 with the intention to use Russian assets frozen in Estonia for compensating war damages in Ukraine.

"The money to compensate for the damages caused by Russia in Ukraine should not come only from the taxpayers of other countries," Estonian Foreign Minister Margus Tsahkna commented.

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The Estonian government estimates that assets worth around 38 million euros ($40 million) have been frozen in the country following international sanctions on Russia.

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

These efforts have been spearheaded by Belgium, which created a $1.8 billion fund for Ukraine, financed by the tax revenue from interest on frozen Russian assets.

According to the Financial Times, EU leaders agreed to provide Ukraine with profits generated by $190 billion in Russian assets held in a Brussels-based securities depository. The European Commission is expected to present a concrete legal proposal in early December.

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