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PACE adopts resolution calling for using frozen Russian assets to fund Ukraine

by Martin Fornusek and The Kyiv Independent news desk April 16, 2024 6:35 PM 2 min read
Illustrative purposes only: The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) during the autumn plenary session on Oct. 9-13, 2023. (Council of Europe's press service)
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Editor's note: The article was updated with additional information from PACE.

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) voted unanimously on April 16 in support of a resolution calling for seizing frozen Russian assets and using them for a new fund for Ukraine's reconstruction.

Ukraine's Western partners and other allies froze around $300 billion in Russian assets at the start of the full-scale invasion in 2022, with roughly two-thirds held at the Belgium-based financial services company Euroclear.

While some partners, like the U.S., have been pushing for funneling these funds directly to Kyiv, European countries have been more hesitant, fearing economic and legal pitfalls. The EU is instead working on a plan to use the profits generated by the frozen assets to fund defense assistance for Ukraine.

PACE said that "the aggressor State, the Russian Federation, had the obligation to provide full compensation for the damage, loss and injury caused by its wrongful acts, including the destruction of infrastructure, loss of life and economic hardships," in accordance with the principles of international law.

Addressing the assembly, Ukraine's parliament chair, Ruslan Stefanchuk, said: "The civilizational gap that separates us and Russia is gigantic. And in its depth, any illusions about this aggressive, hateful, and unlawful creature disappear."

"The time has come for frank and truthful assessments. It is time for quick action and decisions. It is time for responsible leadership. It is time to choose a resolute, united resistance to the Russian terror."

The resolution called specifically for using the frozen assets to support Kyiv's reconstruction efforts. According to the World Bank's estimates, Ukraine's reconstruction will cost $486 billion over a 10-year period.

Opinion: Answering your burning questions on Russia’s frozen assets
There’s so much news and noise on the issue of using frozen Russian assets for Ukraine, so I thought it useful to put out a quick Q&A on the issue. How much money are we talking about? There are around $320 billion in Russian central bank assets currently
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