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EU may use Russian assets to procure weapons for Ukraine - Euractiv

EU may use Russian assets to procure weapons for Ukraine - Euractiv Photo: The EU will start using frozen Russian assets (Getty Images)
Author: Liliana Oleniak

Within two weeks, the European Commission will submit an official proposal to use the frozen Russian assets in favor of Ukraine. The money will likely be spent on weapons, according to Euractiv.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen unexpectedly said last week that it's "time to start a conversation about using the windfall profits of frozen Russian assets to jointly purchase military equipment for Ukraine."

Previously, it was assumed that the money would be used to rebuild Ukraine.

“We’ve been saying the windfall profits would be used for the reconstruction of Ukraine – but there needs to be a country to reconstruct in the first place, so such a step would make absolute sense,” an EU diplomat said.

Russian assets confiscation

After Russia's war against Ukraine began, Western countries froze Russian assets worth about 280 billion euros. The lion's share of the assets - essentially, the securities invested by the Russian central bank - are frozen in the Euroclear depository located in Brussels. Belgium has frozen 250 billion euros of Russian assets placed through the international depository Euroclear.

According to Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Kroo, the tax on frozen assets in 2023 amounted to about EUR 1.3 billion, and in 2024 it will be about EUR 1.7 billion.

The World Bank estimates that Ukraine's economic losses from the Russian invasion amount to $499 billion.