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EU moves toward using profits from frozen Russian assets for Ukraine

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The Council of the EU on Monday adopted a decision and a regulation that pave the way toward using the profits generated by confiscated Russian assets to finance Ukraine’s reconstruction.

The move, which is in line with steps taken by the G7, establishes a legislative route by which profits generated by confiscated Russian assets under specific circumstances could ultimately find their way toward Ukraine via the EU budget.

The Council decided that central securities depositories, such as Belgium’s Euroclear, which hold more than €1 million of Russian central bank assets must set aside any profits generated by them and hold them separately. According to Euroclear, which holds the majority of the frozen Russian assets in the EU, those proceeds amount to over €4 billion per year.

“This decision paves the way for the Council to decide on a possible establishment of a financial contribution to the EU budget raised on these net profits to support Ukraine and its recovery and reconstruction at a later stage,” the Council said in a press statement announcing the move.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba welcomed the announcement on social media, and called for Kyiv’s backers to go further. “Ukraine is ready to continue working with partners on reaching our ultimate goal: making Russian assets available to Ukraine. The aggressor must pay,” he said.

The EU immobilized around €200 billion of Russian assets shortly after Moscow launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

The Kremlin’s spokesperson Dmitry Peskov in December vowed Russia would hit back against the confiscation of its frozen assets.

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