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EU wants to use frozen Russian assets to fund Ukraine — RT Business News

EU leaders have instructed the European Commission to prepare proposals on how to use frozen Russian assets to rebuild Ukraine, Russian media reported on Friday. The statement comes as EU leaders wrap up a two-day summit in Brussels.

“We need to talk about the use of [frozen] strengths we have – russian [frozen] assets. We have more than 300 billion euros (292 billion dollars) of [frozen] assets and how we can use them for the benefit of Ukraine”, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said Friday, quoted by CNN.

Legally, frozen funds still belong to Russia or its citizens. In order to spend these assets, the EU must find a way to confiscate them. According to media reports, EU leaders will discuss the possible confiscation of frozen Russian assets at a summit in Brussels in May.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the EU was seeking to provide Ukraine with around 1.5 billion euros per month. The bloc’s finance ministers have been tasked with collecting the money.

The EU has seized property belonging to Russian businessmen and companies, as well as the assets of the Russian Central Bank, as part of the sanctions against Moscow. The idea of ​​using the funds in Ukraine was first floated several months ago and has been backed by politicians such as Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, former British Prime Minister Liz Truss and President of the European Council Charles Michel.

Senior US officials, including Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, have warned that using these funds in Ukraine could be illegal and would discourage other countries from investing in the United States.

Russia has sharply criticized the seizure of its assets by Western nations, with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov saying the freezing of assets essentially amounts to theft.

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