Monday, October 2, 2023

EU mulls confiscating Russia’s frozen assets to rebuild Ukraine

European Union permanent representatives plan to start discussions on the possible confiscation of Russian assets and their potential use for reconstructing Ukraine.

• November 29, 2022

European Union permanent representatives plan to start discussions on the possible confiscation of Russian assets and their potential use for the reconstruction of Ukraine at a meeting in Brussels on November 30, according to the event’s provisional agenda. 

On Monday, the EU Council approved the decision to include circumvention and violation of European sanctions in the list of EU criminal offences.

This measure would pave the way for confiscating Russian assets in the European Union, EU Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders said in October.

The “use of frozen assets to support Ukraine’s reconstruction” is included for the first time among the foreign affairs issues which the EU permanent representatives intend to discuss with the European Commission on November 30.

In addition, the list of themes to be raised at the EU Justice and Home Affairs Council includes the ‘Directive on asset recovery and confiscation. Policy debate’.

Western countries have frozen Russia’s foreign currency reserves and halted international payments from Russian banks as part of sanctions against Moscow after it launched a special military operation in Ukraine on February 24.

In total, the EU member states have frozen 17.4 billion euros (or $18 billion) of Russian assets, with funds distributed unevenly throughout the union, according to Reynders.

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