09:30 17 Jun 2024

Use of frozen Russian assets' revenues is not "theft", as Putin claims – US Treasury

Photo: AP

Using the funds from frozen Russian assets to give Ukraine a $50 billion loan does not violate any laws.

According to Voice of America, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said this on June 16 on ABC This Week program.

Almost $200 billion of immobilized Russian state assets remain frozen in a Belgian financial institution that receives income from them.

The head of the United States Ministry of Finance sees no legal objections to using this income, to which Russia has no rights.

"There are no legal contradictions here," the American official emphasized.

In this way, Yellen rejected Putin's accusation that the use of income from Russian state assets for the benefit of Ukraine is allegedly theft.

"This is not theft in any sense. Russian assets remain in this institution. They are immobilized. The term of Russian investments has already expired. Russia's money is in the form of cash, but it accrues income for an institution to which Russia has no rights," she emphasized.

It should be noted that last week, at the summit, the G7 agreed to pay Ukraine 50 billion dollars through the proceeds from frozen Russian assets.

Putin, calling it "theft," added that it "will not go unpunished."

"We are fighting a battle of wills with Putin. Putin, I think, thinks that our coalition will fall apart, and we will not be able to provide Ukraine with the resources necessary to fight this war and to keep the economy working. However, our actions prove our determination and capability to follow through," the American minister emphasized.

It is noted that the European Union has already agreed to transfer to Ukraine revenues from immobilized Russian assets, the volume of which, according to estimates, can amount to about 3 billion US dollars per year.

For reference:

On February 24, the Group of Seven (G7) countries released a statement confirming that they would keep Russian assets frozen in their jurisdictions until the end of Russia's full-scale war against Ukraine.

It's important to note that the European Union has drafted a legislative proposal to allow Ukraine to begin receiving profits from the frozen assets of the Russian Central Bank as early as July. These funds will be used for the purchase of weapons and the advancement of the defense industry.

On March 19, the Head of Diplomacy of the European Union, Josep Borrell, proposed to use 90% of the revenues from the Russian Federation's assets frozen in Europe to purchase weapons for Ukraine through the European Peace Fund.

On May 8, EU permanent representatives agreed to use the proceeds from frozen Russian assets to support the recovery of Ukraine and its military defense against Russian aggression.
It should be noted that the European Union's countries will not currently participate directly in the $50 billion loan that the "Big Seven" group plans to provide to Ukraine.

"The United States, as well as Canada, Great Britain and, probably, Japan, within their constitutional limits, have already announced (and will provide) a loan [to Ukraine – ed.] in the amount of about $50 billion," the Italian premier said at a press conference according to the results of the G7 leaders' summit.

It is worth adding that the United States is ready to lend Ukraine $50 billion, which will be repaid with profits from frozen Russian assets, provided that the European Union can extend sanctions against Moscow indefinitely.

According to open information, Euroclear currently has 192 billion euros of Russian Central Bank assets on its balance sheet. The EU is looking for legal mechanisms to deal further with these frozen resources and the interest accrued on them, which has reached €5 billion over the past two years.


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