Can frozen Russian assets be used to rebuild Ukraine? The EU is considering it

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The group will perform a “authorized, monetary, financial and political evaluation” to evaluate this chance, the Swedish authorities stated in a press release Tuesday. Sweden at present holds the rotating presidency of the EU Council, which units the bloc’s political priorities.

The assertion added that a part of this work would contain acquiring a “clearer image” of the place Russian state-owned property are situated and their worth.

“In precept, it’s clear-cut: Russia should pay for the reconstruction of Ukraine,” Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson stated. “On the similar time, this poses troublesome questions. This have to be achieved in accordance with EU and worldwide legislation, and there may be at present no direct mannequin for this.”

Diplomats from EU international locations are assembly Wednesday to ascertain the remit for the group. As soon as that’s determined, they are going to give it the go-ahead to start its work. The group shall be chaired by Anders Ahnlid, director-general of Sweden’s Nationwide Board of Commerce.

Questions over methods to pay for the reconstruction of Ukraine loom giant as the primary anniversary of Russia’s invasion approaches. Ukraine’s financial system shrank by more than 30% in 2022 because the battle destroyed infrastructure, harm companies and disrupted each day life.

The price of reconstruction and restoration within the nation was put at roughly $349 billion in a September evaluation from the World Financial institution, the European Fee and Ukraine’s authorities. However ongoing combating can have raised the worth tag since then.

A senior EU official estimated earlier this month that the European Union and Western allies had frozen greater than $300 billion in Russian central financial institution property that would doubtlessly be used to rebuild Ukraine.

The European Union can be engaged on a tenth bundle of sanctions in opposition to Russia. European Fee President Ursula von der Leyen stated Wednesday that the bloc would goal €11 billion ($11.8 billion) value of products, utilizing commerce bans and export controls on expertise.

“We’re weakening Russia’s potential to maintain its battle equipment in place,” von der Leyen stated in remarks to the European Parliament. “We have now adopted 9 packages of sanctions. The Russian financial system is shrinking. We have to sustain the strain.”

— Julia Horowitz contributed reporting.

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