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FT: EU agrees to set aside billions in profits from frozen Russian assets

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk January 29, 2024 9:52 PM 2 min read
The flags of the European Union and Ukraine outside the EU Parliament building in Brussels, Belgium, on Feb. 24, 2023. (Ksenia Kuleshova/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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The European Union has agreed to set aside billions of euros of profits from frozen Russian Central Bank assets, paving the way to allow the profits to be transferred to Ukraine, the Financial Times reported on Jan. 29, citing a draft text.

The EU proposed a plan on Dec. 12 to seize about 15 billion euros ($16.2 billion) in projected profits generated by frozen assets of Russia's Central Bank and transfer them to Ukraine.

The European Commission estimated that the plan would generate about 3 billion euros ($3.2 billion) per year, or 15 billion from 2023-2027.

The plan would most directly impact Euroclear, a Belgium-based financial services company that holds about 191 billion euros ($205 billion) in Russian assets.

According to the draft text seen by the FT, the EU agreed that profits generated by Euroclear will not be paid out as dividends to shareholders until there is an agreement to create a "financial contribution to the (EU) budget that shall be raised on these net profits to support Ukraine."

This would be "consistent with applicable contractual obligations, and in accordance with (EU) and international law," the text reportedly says.

The FT reported that there are no details concerning a timeline, and the proposal "only targets future profits and will not apply retrospectively."

The plan is "to be formalized in the coming weeks," the FT said.

Opinion: Seizing Russia’s frozen assets is the right move
As Russia’s war against Ukraine continues to wreak havoc both regionally and globally, the Ukrainian people and their allies demonstrate remarkable determination and courage. But nearly two years after Russia launched its full-scale invasion, it is increasingly clear that the international community…
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