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PACE approves draft resolution on use of frozen Russian assets

PACE approves draft resolution on use of frozen Russian assets PACE approves draft resolution on use of frozen Russian assets (Getty Images)
Author: Maria Kholina

The Political Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) advocates for redirecting frozen Russian state assets to a new fund for the restoration of Ukraine, as per a resolution adopted by the committee, according to the PACE press service.

The initiative, based on a report by Albania's representative Lulzim Basha, asserts that Russia, as an aggressor state, must provide "full compensation for the damage caused by its internationally unlawful actions, including the destruction of infrastructure, loss of life, economic hardships, and other negative consequences."

Approximately $300 billion of frozen Russian assets are now recommended to be transferred "for the reconstruction of Ukraine," according to the Committee.

The Committee emphasizes that as of June 2023, documented damage to Ukraine's infrastructure and economy caused by Russia's aggression is estimated at $416 billion.

PACE's Committee recommends the establishment of an "international compensation mechanism" under the auspices of the Council of Europe, including an international trust fund. Russian assets owned by member and non-member countries of the Council of Europe should be directed to this fund. It also proposes the creation of an "impartial and effective" international claims commission, operating in accordance with recognized legal norms, to address Ukraine's and other affected entities' claims against Kremlin aggression.

The Committee calls on Council of Europe member states and other countries holding frozen Russian assets to "actively cooperate" in transferring them to the relevant mechanism, supported by the EU, the U.S., and the G7.

The Commitee says that, according to international law, states have the authority to take countermeasures against a state that seriously violates international law. It is now time for Council of Europe member states to move from sanctions to countermeasures.

The full Assembly, comprising parliamentarians from 46 Council of Europe member states, will now discuss the report.

Confiscation of Russian assets for Ukraine's benefit

Earlier, EU envoys reached an agreement on using proceeds from frozen Russian assets to aid Ukraine. Diplomats also allowed the transfer of income from the aggressor country's assets to a separate account.

Furthermore, at the end of 2023, Western media reported that the U.S. proposed the Group of Seven countries confiscate frozen Russian assets totaling $300 billion for the benefit of Ukraine. Allegedly, this plan aims to be finalized by the second anniversary of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Recently, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that Western countries are approaching the confiscation of Russian assets.