European Commission approves plan to divert frozen Russian assets to Ukraine — Novaya Gazeta Europe
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European Commission approves plan to divert frozen Russian assets to Ukraine

European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders (R) and Prosecutor General of Ukraine Andriy Kostin hold a Freeze and Seize Task Force press conference in Brussels, 17 February 2023. Photo: OLIVIER HOSLET

European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders (R) and Prosecutor General of Ukraine Andriy Kostin hold a Freeze and Seize Task Force press conference in Brussels, 17 February 2023. Photo: OLIVIER HOSLET

EU member states have approved a plan to transfer frozen Russian assets directly to Ukraine, Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský said on Tuesday.

Lipavský said that, according to the plan, Ukraine could receive as much as €3 billion this year alone, 90% of which would go directly to the Ukrainian military. “Russia must pay for its war damages,” he said.

The European Commission approved diverting proceeds from Russian assets to Ukraine earlier in the year, and proposed starting payments as early as July, Bloomberg wrote in March.

Data from Russia’s Central Bank for 2022 showed that €289 worth of its foreign assets had been frozen due to sanctions, of which €88 billion were in Germany, €56 billion in France, and €12.8 billion in Austria.

“The proposal to channel Russian assets to Ukraine is a violation of the fundamentals of international law,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said in March, before threatening the European Commission with legal action.

Novaya Europe previously reported on three possible scenarios for the transfer of Russian assets to Ukraine: the transfer of all frozen Russian state assets, the transfer of only the interest on those assets, or the transfer of the taxes Russia would have to pay on the interest from those assets.

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