18:54 04 Mar 2024

United to win: Belgium ready to seize frozen Russian assets for Ukraine's armament funding

Photo: Associated Press

Belgium is ready to use 1.7 billion euros obtained from frozen Russian assets to finance Ukraine's defense needs.

The Prime Minister of Ukraine, Denys Shmyhal, announced this.

According to the official, the country's government is ready to finance Ukrainian defense contracts from the profits of frozen Russian assets in Belgium.

"Belgium declared that it received EUR 1.7 billion in profit from Russian assets in the budget. These funds are partly allocated to support Ukrainian refugees in the EU. Belgium is partly ready to finance Ukrainian needs, particularly defense," said Denys Shmyhal.

Today, within the international sanctions framework, Russian assets worth about 300 billion euros, most of which are located in the European Union, have been blocked worldwide.

Most of the Russian assets are presented in the form of securities and investments.

Of these, almost 200 billion euros are operated by the Belgian financial company Euroclear.

Currently, there is no mechanism for transferring these assets directly to Ukraine. However, Belgium imposed a 25% income tax on them, the funds from which are used to finance Ukrainian refugees (about €1.7 billion).

Shmyhal also stated that Belgium is ready to consider, together with partners, the possibility of confiscating Russian assets and transferring them to Ukraine.

During this year, these mechanisms will be worked out.

For reference:

In late February, Belgian Defense Minister Ludivine Dedonder announced that her country would join a coalition to purchase artillery shells that the Czech Republic found in an unnamed country.

It was also reported that Ukraine and Belgium plan to establish joint weapons production.

And last January, Belgium approved €90 million in aid, including missiles and small arms.

On June 16, the Council of Ministers of Belgium approved Ukraine's fifteenth package of military aid.

Earlier, it was reported that Belgium would create a special fund for Ukraine for 1.7 billion euros. It will be filled with taxes from Russian assets frozen in Belgium.

Ukraine also received a batch of M113 armored vehicles from three European countries, including Belgium.

In addition, in December, Belgian Defense Minister Ludivine Dedonder confirmed the country's intentions to transfer F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine in 2025.

Also, the Belgian authorities will transfer more than 600 million euros of military aid to Ukraine. This amount is interest from frozen Russian assets.

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