European Commission to channel frozen Russian assets to efforts to rebuild Ukraine

30 November 2022, 02:10 PM
EC plans to invest EUR 319 billion in seized assets in fund for rebuilding Ukraine (Photo:Vladislav Culiomza/Reuters)

EC plans to invest EUR 319 billion in seized assets in fund for rebuilding Ukraine (Photo:Vladislav Culiomza/Reuters)

The European Commission will channel frozen Russian Central Bank assets and cash seized from Russian oligarchs to help pay for rebuilding Ukraine, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Nov. 30.

Von der Leyen said that Russia must pay financially for the devastation that it caused.

“The damage suffered by Ukraine is estimated at EUR 600 billion,” she said.

“Russia and its oligarchs have to compensate Ukraine for the damage and cover the cost of rebuilding the country. And we have the means to make Russia pay. We have blocked EUR 300 billion of the Russian Central Bank reserves and we have frozen EUR 19 billion of Russian oligarchs’ money.”

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Von der Leyen also emphasized that the European Commission and its partners could create in the short term a structure to manage these funds and invest them, and then use the proceeds to help Ukraine rebuild.

“And once the sanctions are lifted, these funds should be used so that Russia pays full compensation for the damages caused to Ukraine,” she said.

“We will work on an international agreement with our partners to make this possible. And together, we can find legal ways to get to it.”

The European Commission is also proposing to set up a specialized court, backed by the United Nations, to investigate and prosecute Russia’s crime of aggression,

“We’re ready to start working with the international community to get the broadest international support possible for this specialized court,” Von der Leyen said.

The Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, on Oct. 7 called on the international community to establish a special tribunal to adjudicate the crime of Russian aggression against Ukraine. Prior to that, Ukraine’s leadership repeatedly called for the establishment of such a tribunal.

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