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EU official: G7 considers using frozen Russian assets as collateral for Ukraine loans

by Martin Fornusek and The Kyiv Independent news desk April 18, 2024 10:25 PM 2 min read
European Commissioner for Trade Valdis Dombrovskis speaks during a press conference on the EU's partnership with Latin America and the Caribbean at the EU headquarters in Brussels on June 7, 2023. (Photo by Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP via Getty Images)
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The Group of Seven (G7) countries are discussing using frozen Russian assets as collateral to provide loans to Ukraine, Reuters reported on April 18, citing European Commission Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis.

Ukraine's Western partners and other allies froze around $300 billion in Russian assets at the start of the full-scale invasion in 2022. Despite numerous calls to use them as assistance for Kyiv, no clear plan has been finalized so far.

Dombrovskis noted that several options are under consideration as talks are ongoing. While not revealing which course of action has the most support, he noted that the final plan will likely involve collateralizing the assets instead of confiscating them.

According to the official, the EU aims to approve a separate measure in the coming months to use profits generated by the frozen assets to help Ukraine.

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Roughly two-thirds of the Russian assets are held at the Belgium-based financial services company Euroclear.

A plan presented by the European Commission in March envisioned using 90% of the profits to buy weapons for Kyiv, but the proposal met pushback from militarily neutral members who instead wish to use it to fund Ukraine's reconstruction.

G7 finance ministers failed to reach an agreement on how to move forward with the Russian assets during an April 17 meeting in Washington but pledged to work on the options ahead of the June summit in Italy.

"We reaffirm our determination to ensure that Russia pays for the damage it has caused to Ukraine," the G7 statement read.

"We will continue to work on all possible ways in which frozen Russian sovereign assets can be used to support Ukraine in accordance with international law and our respective legal systems, with a view to informing our leaders ahead of the Puglia summit in June."

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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