EU to transfer €3 billion of profits from frozen Russian assets to Ukraine
At a summit on Friday, EU leaders made a fundamental decision to transfer billions of euros to Ukraine that were received from the investment of Russian assets frozen in the EU. The European Commission is expected to formalize this decision in early December
This is stated in the resolution of the European Council.
Of the approximately $300 billion in Russian foreign exchange reserves frozen by Western countries since the start of the full-scale war in Ukraine, most of it - over 200 billion euros - is in the EU, Politico reports.
Almost all of them (180 billion euros) are kept in Euroclear, the world's largest securities depository with headquarters in Brussels.
Euroclear said on Thursday that in the first 9 months of this year it earned about 3 billion euros on frozen Russian assets. For comparison, a year earlier in the same period, the depository earned €347 million. This income has also remained with Euroclear, as it cannot be paid to clients under sanctions.
It is these 3 billion euros that are planned to be transferred to support Ukraine.
The idea of using frozen Russian assets to support Ukraine appeared last year. However, the European authorities did not dare to do so, fearing negative consequences for the euro (expropriation of assets could weaken the euro's position as a reserve currency).
As a result, the idea emerged to transfer to Ukraine not the frozen assets themselves, but the income earned from investing the assets (these incomes are also frozen).
"Politically we agreed that ultimately Russia must pay for the long-term reconstruction of Ukraine," European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Friday after the EU leaders' summit.
On June 30, EU leaders supported the idea of introducing a tax on unforeseen profits from the assets of the Russian Central Bank to help rebuild Ukraine.