This initiative was taken by Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Slovakia. They believe that it is necessary to maximize the use of Russian assets for the restoration of Ukraine or use their freezing as leverage
Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Slovakia have prepared a letter for the finance ministers of the countries— members of the EU, which calls for the confiscation of Russian assets and send them to the reconstruction of Ukraine after the hostilities, Reuters writes with reference to the document.
As stated in the letter, Russian assets should cover “a significant part of the costs”; for the restoration of the country, as well as compensation for the families of the victims.
Four countries were in favor of finding “legitimate ways to maximize the use” of Russian resources both to help Ukraine in the fighting and for reconstruction. “The confiscation of state assets, such as the reserves of the Central Bank or the property of state enterprises, in this respect has a direct connection and effect,” the letter says.
At the same time, the countries believe that if legal ways to confiscate Russian assets cannot be found, they “can be used as leverage”; and unfreeze only when Russia itself compensates for Ukraine's losses.
The letter also contains a statement about the need to introduce new EU sanctions against Russia. “There should be no economic ties at all between the EU and Russia to ensure that none of our financial resources, products or services contribute to the Russian war machine,” — marked in the document.
Last week, the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said that Brussels is looking for ways to use the frozen assets of Russian businessmen to restore Ukraine. Her deputy Valdis Dombrovskis pointed out that the European Commission group is working on private assets and is working out solutions for their possible further confiscation. At the same time, he pointed out that this should take place under the criminal law of the state where the assets are located, and noted the need for a “legal review”.
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Russian Presidential Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said that the decision to transfer Russian assets to the restoration of Ukraine would be “illegal, blatant” and would be outright theft.
Bloomberg reported at the end of April that the EU had frozen Russian assets worth €35 billion.
In early May, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky estimated at $600 billion the amount needed to rebuild the country after the fighting. The head of the European Investment Bank (EIB), Werner Hoyer, noted that it would take trillions of euros to “rebuild Ukraine”.
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