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The Guardian: EU to propose funneling billions in profits generated by Russian assets to Ukraine

by Martin Fornusek and The Kyiv Independent news desk March 14, 2024 6:12 PM 2 min read
The national flag of Ukraine and the flag of the EU are flying in the wind on April 24, 2023, in Berlin. (Monika Skolimowska/picture alliance via Getty Images)
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The European Commission may soon propose a plan to confiscate 27 billion euros ($29 billion) in profits generated by frozen Russian assets and transfer them to Ukraine, The Guardian reported on March 14, citing its sources.

The commission's officials plan to put forward a "legally robust proposal" for consideration by the member states, possibly before a meeting of prime ministers in Brussels on March 21, the outlet said.

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

Although EU officials are optimistic about an agreement on seizing the profits, there are ongoing disputes on how the funds should be used. While some members propose using them for Ukraine's war effort, other countries want the money spent on reconstruction and humanitarian efforts.

The European Commission does not plan to present specific options on how to use the money at the moment, The Guardian wrote, citing sources.

The Financial Times reported earlier this week that the European bloc may send up to 3 billion euros ($3.3 billion) in profits generated by Russian assets to Ukraine as early as July.

The debate on using frozen Russian assets for Ukraine's benefit is also taking place in the U.S.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen called funneling the funds to Ukraine "necessary and urgent," and American lawmakers are currently discussing the REPO Act as a possible way to fund Kyiv using Russian sovereign assets.

Bloomberg: Seizure of frozen Russian assets legal, experts say
A letter signed by international legal experts argues that the seizure of frozen Russian central bank assets to aid Ukraine would be lawful given Russia’s “ongoing breach of the most fundamental rules of international law,” Bloomberg reported on Feb. 21.
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