Skip to content
Edit post

Kuleba: Frozen Russian assets can cover 80% of Ukraine's reconstruction needs

by Dinara Khalilova and The Kyiv Independent news desk January 9, 2024 11:28 AM 3 min read
Workers demolish a bombarded block of flats amid reconstruction efforts in Irpin, Kyiv Oblast, on May 13, 2023. Irpin was targeted by indiscriminate Russian bombardments at the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion. (Dominika Zarzycka/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
This audio is created with AI assistance

The total amount of frozen Russian assets can cover more than 80% of Ukraine's recovery demand, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said in an interview with the Spanish newspaper El Pais published on Jan.8.

Around $300 billion of the Russian central bank assets were frozen in the West after Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Kyiv's allies have been discussing for months how to find a legal way to confiscate the funds that could be funneled into Ukraine's war and reconstruction efforts.

Such talks between U.S. and European officials have reportedly intensified in recent weeks, with U.S. President Joe Biden requesting a strategy ready by Feb. 24, 2024, which will mark two years since the start of the all-out war.

In the El Pais interview, Kuleba expressed confidence that Ukraine would receive funds from the frozen Russian assets.

"It will happen 100%, the question is to what extent, because there are three elements: the frozen assets themselves, the profits on the assets, and taxes on those profits. But it will happen because it makes sense that Russia should pay," Kuleba said.

"And there are enough frozen assets to tackle the reconstruction of Ukraine… We can rebuild schools, hospitals, and infrastructure at the expense of the country that destroyed them."

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…

The minister believes Ukraine will receive the first funds before the war ends, but "a comprehensive system to resolve legal issues, financial mechanisms and transparency" is needed.

"You can't get everything in one day, it requires a process… It is a complicated legal, regulatory, and financial instrument. But although some have doubts, this decision must be made because it is the most natural decision of all," Kuleba told El Pais.

According to estimates, most Russian assets are in Europe, while around $5 billion are held by U.S. institutions.

EU leaders expressed support in October for a proposal to use billions of euros in windfall taxes from Russian assets tied up in the West to rebuild Ukraine.

Earlier that month, Belgium announced it would create a $1.8 billion fund for Ukraine, financed by the tax revenue from interest on frozen Russian assets.

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Kuleba: ‘Europe doesn’t know how to fight wars’
Sitting down with the Kyiv Independent for an interview in Kyiv, Ukraine’s top diplomat is sharply dressed and in a good mood. Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba is among the last Ukrainian top officials who still prefers a suit to a military-style garb. He’s happy with the work his ministry has
Support independent journalism in Ukraine. Join us in this fight.
Freedom can be costly. Both Ukraine and its journalists are paying a high price for their independence. Support independent journalism in its darkest hour. Support us for as little as $1, and it only takes a minute.
visa masterCard americanExpress

News Feed

2:39 PM

Navalny's funeral to be held in Moscow on March 1.

The funeral of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny will be held on March 1 in Moscow's Borisov cemetery, Navalny’s spokesperson Kira Yarmysh announced on Feb. 28. The funeral will take place at 2 p.m., but Yarmysh advised those who wanted to come to arrive earlier.
1:43 PM

Albania, Ukraine sign cooperation agreement.

Albania and Ukraine signed a "Treaty on Friendship and Cooperation," President Volodymyr Zelensky announced on Feb. 28 during his visit to Tirana for the Ukraine-Balkans summit.
12:05 PM

Court extends Kolomoisky's detention, reduces bail.

The Shevchenkivskyi district court extended oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky's detention for another two months but reduced his bail to Hr 2.4 billion hryvnias ($62.5 million), his lawyer told Suspilne on Feb. 28.
Ukraine Daily
News from Ukraine in your inbox
Ukraine news
Please, enter correct email address
4:27 AM

Russian attacks on Sumy Oblast kill 2, injure 8.

Mortar shelling in Seredyna-Buda injured two residents, the administration said. Earlier in the day, Ukraine’s National Police reported that a strike on the village of Khotin killed two police officers and wounded another six.

Editors' Picks

Enter your email to subscribe
Please, enter correct email address
* indicates required
* indicates required
* indicates required
* indicates required
* indicates required


* indicates required
* indicates required


* indicates required
Successfuly subscribed
Thank you for signing up for this newsletter. We’ve sent you a confirmation email.