Home MarketsEurope & Middle East EU should discuss using frozen Russian assets to help Ukrainian military: von der Leyen

EU should discuss using frozen Russian assets to help Ukrainian military: von der Leyen

by SuperiorInvest

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen speaks during a joint press conference with Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, after their meeting in Kiev. , Ukraine, on February 24, 2024, in the midst of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. European officials and Canada's Prime Minister are visiting the capital, kyiv, on the second anniversary of the start of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine. (Photo by STR/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

STRONG | Nurfoto | fake images

European leaders should discuss using profits from frozen Russian assets to boost Ukraine's military in its defense efforts against Moscow, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Wednesday.

“It is time to start a conversation about using the windfall from frozen Russian assets to jointly purchase military equipment for Ukraine,” he said in a speech to the European Parliament.

“There could be no stronger symbol or greater use for that money than making Ukraine and all of Europe a safer place to live,” von der Leyen said. “Ultimately, it is about Europe taking responsibility for its own security.”

To date, the European Union and G7 nations have frozen around 300 billion euros ($324 billion) in Russian central bank assets in the wake of the Ukraine war. Crucially, frozen assets, by definition, are temporarily held rather than fully seized and have the ability to be reallocated. Questions remain about the legality of such confiscation and redistribution and its due processes.

Von der Leyen's comments come after US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Tuesday that it is important to find a way to unlock the value of frozen assets to shore up Ukraine, stressing that there is a ” solid economic, moral and international law argument” to do so. and that it was crucial that the allies work together on the issue.

In 1992, the UN Security Council authorized a similar measure to seize frozen Iraqi assets and divert them toward compensation for victims of Baghdad's invasion of Kuwait.

Now in its third year, the Russian invasion has leveled several settlements in Ukraine, and carried out airstrikes against kyiv. In March last year, the World Bank estimated that $411 billion would be needed for Ukraine's reconstruction and recovery, and costs have likely increased since then.

The European Union has been considering using the proceeds of frozen Russian assets to support Ukraine for some time. This has included military support and aid to Ukraine in its reconstruction efforts. However, officials have expressed concern both about the legality of using frozen assets and the potential consequences for global currency markets.

“The cost of insecurity, the cost of a Russian victory, is far greater than any savings we can make now. And that is why it is time for Europe to step up,” von der Leyen said on Wednesday.

Read more CNBC political coverage

Earlier this year, the European Union adopted a law to ensure that windfall profits from the Russian central bank's frozen assets were set aside, in what was widely seen as a first step toward a possible reallocation of the funds. .

Late last year, the Kremlin said it would retaliate if the European Union used profits from frozen assets to support Ukraine.

Von der Leyen also called on EU leaders on Wednesday to think about and expand their defense policies. While the risk of war “should not be exaggerated,” countries must be prepared, he said. This includes the reconstruction and modernization of the armed forces in member countries, von der Leyen said.

“The threat of war may not be imminent, but it is not impossible,” he said.

Source Link

Related Posts