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Borrell outlines condition for using Russian assets to purchase weapons for Ukraine

Borrell outlines condition for using Russian assets to purchase weapons for Ukraine Photo: Josep Borrell (Vitalii Nosach, RBC-Ukraine)
Author: Liliana Oleniak

The proceeds from frozen Russian assets in the EU will be used to purchase weapons for Ukraine. The decision of all 27 members of the bloc must be made unanimously, according to EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell.

"If Member States agree - it has to be a unanimous decision upon a proposal by the High Representative, – we could use the windfall profits of Russian frozen assets to purchase arms for Ukraine and/or help strengthen its defense industry," Borrell says.

According to him, the possibility of using these profits to support Ukraine's recovery has been considered.

"However, currently, the main issue in Ukraine is not so much reconstruction, but rather avoiding further destruction," the EU diplomat says.

He adds that if member states agree, it would make sense to use these resources to provide additional military support to Ukraine through the European Peace Facility.

"In the longer term, we could also use these funds to support the Ukrainian defense industrial base," Borrell states.

Using Russian assets

In late February, the head of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said that "it is time to start talking about using the windfall profits from frozen Russian assets for the joint purchase of military equipment for Ukraine."

After Russia's war against Ukraine began, Western countries froze about 300 billion euros worth of Russian assets. The lion's share of the assets - essentially securities invested by the Russian central bank - are frozen in the Brussels-based Euroclear depository, which has made a profit of €3.25 billion from these assets.