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France supports transfer of confiscated Russian assets to Ukraine

France supports transfer of confiscated Russian assets to Ukraine Photo: Julien Bayou

Statements about support for Ukraine without limits should be backed up by concrete actions. In particular, the confiscation of Russian assets frozen in Europe and their use to support Ukraine, states National Assembly deputy Julien Bayou, who is a co-author of the resolution on confiscation.

"My concern is that we need to be coherent. It's a good thing to say that we need to go for the win in Ukraine, for Ukraine to win against Russia. But we need to be consistent. I'm pushing for the confiscation of the frozen Russian assets," he said.

At the same time, Bayou said that French President Emmanuel Macron is ashamed of these retaliatory measures.

"Let's take this money and give it to Ukraine for military purposes and rebuilding of the country. That's, in my opinion, the most concrete, the most immediate concrete support we can provide. And I don't understand how you can say 'no limits' and entertain this ambiguous position," he said.

According to him, this is also a problem for France, because the government has announced budget cuts of 10 billion euros for public services, education, health care, etc.

"And this is a problem for France too, because the government announced a budget cut of 10 billion, for public services, education, health care etc. So the population might not understand how you can cut 10 billion for public services and give 3 to Ukraine. The best explanation is that this is an investment. But also to ease the move for the taxpayers – we will seize these 200 billion, and it will help a lot more than the French taxpayers could ever do," said the deputy.

Bayou said that for France to be fully trusted, it must confiscate Russian assets, and Europe must do the same.

"And this position is very, very widely shared. We have around 150 MPs, it's more than 25% of the MPs in France that support, that signed the resolution to seize this money. We want to vote, we want to go for this bold move and the president is holding back," the deputy added.

Use of Russian assets

The EU Council on May 21 approved several decisions on the use of profits from Russia's frozen assets to support Ukraine.

The money will be used to further military support for Ukraine through the European Peace Facility, along with support of Ukraine's defense-industrial potential and reconstruction needs.

In particular, 90% of the funds will be transferred to the European Peace Facility, and the remaining 10% to EU programs financed from the bloc's budget.

At the same time, the EU is not yet considering the issue of confiscation and transfer of all frozen Russian assets. Most of the Russian assets are frozen in Belgium, in the Euroclear, where 191 billion euros are deposited.