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EU have not yet found €300 billion worth of assets of Russian Central Bank that must be used for Ukraine's benefit

Tuesday, 21 February 2023, 16:39

The European Union has been unable to confirm that the €300 billion worth of assets, frozen in its member countries due to the Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine, belong to the Central Bank of Russia.

Source: the Delfi media outlet with reference to sources in Brussels and Kyiv, as reported by European Pravda

On Tuesday, 21 February, the 45 members of the European Parliament sent the letter to the EU leadership with a demand to create a unified register of money belonging to the Central Bank of Russia and Russian oligarchs, which was blocked in the European Union. The register must include sums of money and its current location.

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The members of the European Parliament state that such a register has not been created yet and require that the European Commission call the EU member states to share the information concerning the arrested Russian money "in order to create a clear picture of the situation."

The signers of the letter believe that after the necessary information is gathered, the European Council and the European Commission must work out a single approach towards using this money for rebuilding Ukraine and think that it is crucial to use this money this way.

The high-rank member of the European Commission, who chose to maintain his anonymity due to the absence of authority which would allow him to talk to the media, told Delfi that the European financial authorities, despite their claims about blocking €300 billion, belonging to the Central Bank of Russia, in reality has not yet found this money.

The estimates of the foreign assets of Russia are based solely on the estimates provided by the Russian Central Bank itself before the beginning of the Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine. In reality, the sum of arrested assets is significantly smaller.

The source from an expert group that facilitates the communication between Ukraine, the EU and the US concerning the sanctions pressure on Russia, specified that following the blocking of all the operations conducted by the Russian Central Bank last February, the expert group failed to locate the whole sum of €300 billion of Russian assets.

The source assumes that it may be connected with the structure of management of the Russian foreign assets, which is likely significantly more complex than originally thought. A part of the Russian assets may likely be kept in private banks, and the cooperation of these banks with the financial authorities of the EU is yet to be established.

Background:

  • Back in November 2022, Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission, stated that Brussels and its partners would work out a plan of confiscation of frozen Russian assets in order to then allocate them for rebuilding Ukraine and compensating the damage caused by the Russian war.
  • The European Commission also suggests merging frozen Russian assets on the European or international level to make investments and then use the profit to finance the rebuilding of Ukraine. 

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