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Yermak: West working on legal procedure to send billions of frozen Russian assets to Ukraine

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk October 5, 2023 12:33 PM 2 min read
Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andriy Yermak attends a joint briefing with co-head of the Yermak-McFaul Expert Group on Russian Sanctions, Director of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies Michael McFaul in Kyiv on Sept. 8, 2023. (Kaniuka Ruslan / Ukrinform/Future Publishing via Getty Images)
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"The USA and the EU are working on legal procedures to transfer $300 billion of frozen Russian assets to Ukraine," President's Office head Andriy Yermak said on Oct. 5.

The U.S. government and other Group of 7 (G7) countries froze over $300 billion in assets from the Russian Central Bank stored abroad at the start of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Posting on X, formerly known as Twitter, Yermak added that the West's focus on the legal procedures needed to transfer these assets to Ukraine is "a very positive signal" and a "matter of justice."

"Those who kill, destroy, violate international law and the UN Charter must face consequences," he wrote.

The topic of what to do with Russian assets frozen in western countries, and whether to send them to Ukraine to help fund the country's recovery, has been an ongoing discussion.

On Sept. 6, U.S. State Secretary Antony Blinken announced during a visit to Kyiv that the U.S. plans to fund support for Ukrainian military veterans from "assets seized from sanctioned Russian oligarchs" for the first time.

Those who "enabled Putin's war of aggression should pay for it," Blinken said.

In August, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said that Ukraine is looking for ways to use frozen Russian assets to pay for the reconstruction of Crimea in particular.

Ukraine wants to create an international mechanism through which the aggressor would be mandated to pay for all the damages it has caused, Shmyhal added.

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