European Commission President calls for arming Ukraine using profits from Russian assets

Wednesday, 28 February 2024

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, has called for the proceeds of frozen Russian assets to be used to finance arms purchases for Ukraine.

Von der Leyen said in her speech to the European Parliament that it was "time to start a conversation" about using the windfall profits from frozen Russian assets for joint purchases of military goods for Ukraine.

"There could be no stronger symbol and no greater use for that money than to make Ukraine and all of Europe a safer place to live," she said.

"Ultimately, this is about Europe taking responsibility for its own security. With or without the support of our partners, we cannot let Russia win," von der Leyen said.


The idea of using frozen Russian assets to support Ukraine has recently gained momentum as future funding for Kyiv becomes less certain.

Earlier, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen called on the Group of Seven countries to urgently find a way to expropriate frozen Russian assets banked in the group's member states and redirect them to help Ukraine.

Following the summit on 24 February, the G7 leaders confirmed that they would keep frozen the assets of the Russian Central Bank in their jurisdictions until the end of Russia's full-scale war against Ukraine.

On 12 February, the Council of the European Union adopted a decision that advances the establishment of a mechanism for the use of excess profits from frozen Russian assets in the EU to fund Ukraine’s defensive effort.

Read also: Challenges of Confiscation: What Will Help Ukraine Achieve Transfer of Russian Assets

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