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Belgian PM justifies use of Russian assets for arming Ukraine

Belgian PM justifies use of Russian assets for arming Ukraine Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo (Getty Images)
Author: Maria Kholina

Belgium stands in favor of utilizing Russia's frozen assets to bolster Ukraine's recovery efforts. However, weaponry takes precedence at present, according to Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo.

De Croo emphasized that the European Union would not be able to allocate these funds towards reconstruction if Ukraine loses the war, hence it would be wiser to spend these funds on supplying weaponry.

He said that the primary proposal from the European Commission currently revolves around allocating 90% of the revenues from Russian assets towards arms procurement.

EU summit highlights

A substantial portion of frozen Russian assets is held in Belgium's Euroclear depository.

During the first day of the EU summit on March 21, leaders discussed redirecting profits from frozen Russian assets towards purchasing weaponry for Ukraine and reached a preliminary agreement.

Following the discussions, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen stated that EU leaders have paved the way for utilizing a portion of the income from frozen Russian assets to finance military equipment for Ukraine.

Von der Leyen said that around €3 billion could be gathered in 2024 and similar amounts in the following years

She highlighted "strong support for the utilization" of the profits "for Ukraine's military purposes."

She told the leaders that if they swiftly prepare this proposal now, they could transfer the first billion to Ukraine on July 1.

Previously, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell proposed that the EU utilize 90% of the revenues from Russian assets frozen in Europe to purchase weaponry for Ukraine through the European Peace Fund.

He mentioned that the remaining 10% would be transferred to the EU budget to enhance the potential of the Ukrainian defense industry.