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US Treasury Secretary: There are several options for confiscating frozen Russian assets

US Treasury Secretary: There are several options for confiscating frozen Russian assets Photo: US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen (Getty Images)

Direct arrest of Russian assets located in Western countries is justified, but it's only one possible option, as frozen funds can also serve as collateral for loans in the market to help Ukraine, stated US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

"That's an option that's been discussed. The leaders (G7 - ed.) have asked us to give them a range of options," Yellen said in response to a question about whether transferring interest on Russian assets to issue bonds or loans for Ukraine is the main option.

According to her, "The Europeans have taken a very constructive step and that is most of Russian assets held in Belgium ... have now converted to cash and Euroclear earns interest on those assets."

"The European Union has agreed to segregate that interest and essentially move forward on a program in which it can be transferred to Ukraine. That is an approach that could be broadly supported by countries that are concerned about seizure of assets ... there are a range of options," the US Treasury Secretary noted.

Confiscation of frozen Russian assets

Western countries have frozen over $300 billion of Russian assets since the full-scale war in Ukraine began.

Confiscating them has proven difficult due to legal and reputational risks. Therefore, the US and G7 countries are considering several options. Specifically, they are exploring the idea of transferring income from Russian assets to Ukraine for purchasing weaponry.

Furthermore, suggestions have been made for Russian assets to be transferred to Ukraine as compensation for Russia's invasion.

Earlier, Vice President of the European Commission, Valdis Dombrovskis, stated that the $300 billion worth of frozen Russian assets could be used as collateral for providing loans to Ukraine.

Additionally, as reported by American media, the significant aid package from the US to Ukraine and other allies, signed by President Joe Biden on April 24, also allows his administration to confiscate Russian state assets and use them for Ukraine's benefit. However, the US is unlikely to do so without the consent of other G7 members and the European Union.

G7 countries intend to discuss the US proposal to confiscate income from Russian assets for the benefit of Ukraine at the June summit.