Vyacheslav Volodin, Chairman of Russia's State Duma (the lower chamber of the Russian parliament – ed.), has posted a message on Sunday morning, describing the supposedly poor economic situation in the European Union, mentioning the EU's intention to use frozen Russian assets for the benefit of Ukraine.
Source: European Pravda, citing Volodin on Telegram
Details: The official claimed that a number of European politicians, led by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, "have once again started talking about stealing our country's frozen funds in order to continue militarising Kyiv".
"Such a decision would require a symmetrical response from the Russian Federation. In this case, many more assets belonging to unfriendly countries will be confiscated compared to our funds frozen in Europe," he added.
It remains uncertain what sources of information Volodin relied on when talking about the "theft" of Russia's assets in the EU, given that this option has been publicly rejected on numerous occasions for legal reasons.
Instead, the European Union, as agreed with the G7, supported a plan to tax the income from excess profits of idle Russian assets. This step, already taken by Belgium, is to be finalised by the European Commission by the end of December. Furthermore, the EU is currently planning to use these funds for the post-war recovery of Ukraine, not to provide weapons, as Volodin claims.
On Friday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the value of frozen Russian sovereign assets in the EU totalled €211 billion.
Earlier, Belgium, home to the world's largest depository, Euroclear, announced that it had set up a special fund to support Ukraine worth €1.7 billion, filled with tax revenues from Russian assets frozen in the country.