Ukraine's PM Revealed Four Steps to Attract Russian Assets for Country’s Reconstruction

Wednesday, 21 June 2023

Denys Shmyhal, the Prime Minister of Ukraine, has outlined the government's vision of using frozen Russian assets for the reconstruction of Ukraine and proposes a universal mechanism for the recovery of compensations from aggressor countries.

In his column published in The Guardian on the opening day of the Ukraine Reconstruction Conference in London, Shmyhal underlined that frozen Russian assets in the West should not be returned to Russia as it would represent a huge injustice to Ukraine and a threat of financing further aggressive warfare.

"Russia’s money should become a major source of recovery. It should not be funded by Ukrainians, partner state taxpayers or international financial organisations. Russia must pay. That would be logical, fair and just," stated Denys Shmyhal.

He mentions that the first steps have already been taken. For example, the UN adopted a historic resolution on the creation of an international mechanism to ensure Ukraine is compensated for its losses. Additionally, a register of damage was launched at the Council of Europe Summit in Reykjavik, laying the foundation for the compensation mechanism.

Denys Shmyhal outlined four subsequent steps to be taken. First, an international commission to determine the amount of compensation to be paid to victims on the basis of the data in the register must be established. Second, partner states must amend their legislation to allow the diversion of "frozen" Russian assets to Ukraine. Third, a compensation fund in which the money will be collected must be set up. Finally, the practical implementation of confiscations and payments for reconstruction will be needed.

He acknowledged the fears of our partners, but Russia's criminal actions are so unprecedented that fundamentally new, courageous decisions are needed. These decisions will be important not only for Ukraine, but for the whole world.

According to Shmyhal, Ukraine proposes to create a universal system whereby the internationally recognised aggressor and perpetrator of war pays for its crimes. This will be a fully legitimate mechanism based on the relevant international agreement.

Denys Shmyhal praised the initial steps taken by the United Kingdom, which lay the groundwork for the transfer of frozen Russian funds for the reconstruction of Ukraine (details in the article "Voluntary-Compulsory: UK found way to return money from Russian oligarchs to Ukraine").

"The seizure of Russian assets is in the national interest of states seeking lasting peace and global prosperity in a world in which autocratic regimes are afraid to attack their neighbours. For they will know that they will be forced to pay for everything," concluded the Prime Minister.

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