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German Prosecutor General wants to confiscate over $780 million in Russian funds

by Nate Ostiller and The Kyiv Independent news desk December 20, 2023 3:36 PM 2 min read
A man walks past the Moscow's stock market building in downtown Moscow on Feb. 28, 2022 (Natalia Kolesnikova/AFP via Getty Images)
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Germany's Federal Prosecutor General Peter Frank has submitted paperwork to confiscate 720 million euros ($787 million) in Russian funds currently frozen in Germany, Der Spiegel reported on Dec. 20, citing sources.

If the plan comes to fruition, it would mark a change in Germany's position toward Russian assets it holds, as currently Germany has only frozen funds belonging to sanctioned individuals and companies.

The $787 million belongs to a subsidiary of the Moscow Stock Exchange, which the EU sanctioned in June 2022. Germany also froze its assets located in German banks.

After the stock exchange was sanctioned, the subsidiary attempted to transfer the funds. Sources said that the failed transfer could be considered an attempt to circumvent sanctions and, therefore, a crime.

If the funds are confiscated, they would be redirected into Germany's federal budget.

There has been an ongoing debate in the West about how best to confiscate frozen Russian assets and redirect them to Ukraine.

One of the significant portions of frozen Russian assets is the $300 billion from Russia's central bank.

The plan to confiscate the funds has widespread support from Kyiv and Brussels but has been bogged down by legal issues.

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