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Borrell proposes to give Ukraine 90% of income from Russian assets, Russia reacts

20 March, 2024 Wednesday
17:00

Josep Borrell, the EU's top diplomat, said he would propose that the EU allocate 90% of the proceeds from Russian assets frozen in Europe to purchase weapons for Ukraine

Reuters reported the information.

According to Borrell's idea, 10% of the proceeds of Russian frozen assets will be transferred to the EU budget, and the rest will be used to purchase weapons for Ukraine.

He said he would present this proposal to EU member states on Wednesday, on the eve of the EU leaders' summit.

Borrell noted that his proposal concerns the use of profits from assets held in Europe, not the assets themselves. According to him, this could bring in about EUR 3 billion annually.

"The concrete proposal will be tabled tomorrow," he said. "This is for member states to agree.”

Russia's response

Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov threatens countries that transfer income from Russian assets to Ukraine with legal action.

"The persons involved in making such decisions, the states that will decide this, will naturally become targets of prosecution for many decades," Meduza quoted Peskov as saying.

In turn, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called the possible transfer of proceeds from Russian assets to Ukraine "banditry.”

"This is outright banditry and theft. These actions are a gross and unprecedented violation of basic international norms. We said we would respond, and we will," she was quoted as saying by TASS.

Russian assets in the EU: what is known

On January 30, the Political Affairs Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe adopted a draft resolution that provides for the confiscation of frozen Russian assets and their transfer to a new fund for the rebuilding of Ukraine.

Europe holds €191 billion of Russia's €260 billion of frozen foreign assets, which generated €4.4 billion in profit in 2023, and they want to hand them over to Ukraine.

The G7 countries and the EU are discussing a plan to use the frozen assets of the Russian central bank worth more than $250 billion as collateral to finance Ukraine's recovery.

On February 12, the EU Council adopted a decision to regulate the future mechanism for using the proceeds of frozen Russian assets in the EU in favor of Ukraine.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said that Western countries should take a bolder approach to confiscating Russian assets that they froze after Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

On March 11, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said that Russia’s frozen assets could be used not only to rebuild Ukraine but also to strengthen its defense capabilities by purchasing weapons, subject to the consent of all EU members.

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