G7 and EU Call For Transfer of Frozen Russian Assets to Ukraine

Friday, 3 November 2023

A group of former and current government officials, diplomats and academics has written an open letter to the Group of Seven countries and the EU calling for Ukraine to be allowed to use Russia's frozen assets.

"We call on the leaders of the G7 and the EU to approve the long-awaited decision to let Ukraine use Russian sovereign assets and funnel them to compensate for the damages caused and inflicted upon Ukraine and Ukrainians," reads the letter revealed by the Financial Times.

"As direct victims of Russian aggression, they are entitled to be fully compensated by Russia for the damage it inflicted upon them. Until Russia brings itself into compliance with international law and compensates Ukraine and Ukrainians fully by way of legally binding reparations, Ukraine and Ukrainians should become the recipients of Russian sovereign assets."

The initiator of the letter was former Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, the chairman of the Kyiv Security Forum. Among its signatories are chairman of the Munich Security Conference Christoph Heusgen, Lithuanian Prime Minister and MEP Andrius Kubilius, Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas, MEP Michael Gahler, ex-NATO Secretary General Alexander Vershbow, former US ambassadors to Ukraine John Herbst, Marie Yovanovitch, William Taylor, Steven Pifer, Carlos Pascual and others.

The signatories recall that today the total amount of frozen sovereign Russian assets is about €300 billion, including about €200 billion in the EU. In this regard, they propose to form an open register of frozen sovereign Russian assets, indicating their volumes, types of assets, their location, current state of use and income from them.

They also welcomed the Belgian government's recent decision to use tax revenues from frozen Russian assets to benefit Ukraine.

"However, further actions are needed in the EU and the US to find a proper solution," the letter said.

They recall that in June 2023, the US Congress introduced the "Rebuilding Economic Prosperity and Opportunity (REPO) for Ukrainians Act", the legal mechanisms of which give the US President the authority to use the sovereign assets of the Russian Federation.

"Enactment of this bill will provide the US with additional tools to take action. Related actions, including necessary legislative decisions, should be taken by the EU and its member states. Russian sovereign assets should be contributed to a special Ukraine recovery fund managed by the representatives of G7 nations, in consultation with the government of Ukraine," the letter says.

Earlier, EU leaders approved plans to allocate billions of euros obtained from frozen Russian assets to help Ukraine, and the European Commission, as expected, will make corresponding legal proposals at the beginning of December.

Last Friday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that the value of frozen Russian sovereign assets in the EU is €211 billion.

Prior to that, Belgium created a special fund to support Ukraine in the amount of EUR 1.7 billion, which is filled by thetaxation of Russian assets frozen in the country.

Read also: Euroclear Will Help Us: Will Investment Income from Russian Assets in EU Become Compensation to Ukraine

If you notice an error, select the required text and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editors.