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Belgium supports EU proposal to use Russian assets to arm Ukraine

Belgium supports EU proposal to use Russian assets to arm Ukraine Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo (Getty Images)
Author: Maria Kholina

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo has voiced support for the European Union's proposal to use billions of euros in profit from frozen Russian financial assets to purchase arms for Ukraine, according to Reuters.

"It's a good proposal. I think it's a sensible way of doing it. I think the idea to allocate it predominantly to the purchase of weapons makes total sense," he said.

The European Commission this week suggested seizing the profit, estimated at 2.5-3.0 billion euros (2.7-3.3 billion dollars) annually, from Russian assets frozen in Europe following Moscow's incursion into Ukraine and transferring about 90% to Kyiv.

The assets are frozen by EU central depositories, mainly by the Belgian company Euroclear.

Under the European Commission's proposal, 90% of the profit will be channeled through the European Peace Facility to purchase weapons for Ukraine. The rest of the funds will go towards reconstruction and recovery efforts.

Ukraine will also receive tax revenue that the Belgian government levies on the profit. For the year 2024, this is expected to amount to 1.7 billion euros, of which 1.5 billion euros will be paid this year.

The total financial contribution to Ukraine from frozen Russian assets in the EU could amount to around 4.0-4.5 billion euros this year.

Confiscation of Russian frozen assets

At the end of February, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen stated that it was time to start a conversation about using the profit from frozen Russian assets for joint purchases of military equipment for Ukraine.

According to the EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell, the possibility of using the profit was previously considered as support for Ukraine's recovery. However, recently, the primary concern has shifted to preventing further destruction.

Meanwhile, during a meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council on March 18, a decision was made to provide an additional 5 billion euros in military aid to Ukraine within the framework of the European Peace Facility.