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US Treasury urges developed countries to find way to send frozen Russian assets to Ukraine

Tuesday, 27 February 2024, 16:47
US Treasury urges developed countries to find way to send frozen Russian assets to Ukraine
Photo: Getty Images

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has urged the world's most developed countries to find a way to hand frozen Russian assets over to Ukraine.

Source: Bloomberg

Quote: "There is a strong international law, economic and moral case for moving forward."

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Details: The European Union, the G7 nations and Australia have frozen about €260 billion in securities and cash, more than two-thirds of which is immobilised in the EU. All sides agree that these funds should remain off-limits to Russia unless it agrees to assist in Ukraine’s reconstruction, but there are differences of opinion concerning the legality of seizing the assets outright.

"Unlocking the assets to help Ukraine would be a decisive response to Russia’s unprecedented threat to global stability," Yellen said. "It would make clear that Russia cannot win by prolonging the war and would incentivise it to come to the table to negotiate a just peace with Ukraine."

Yellen said that apart from simply seizing the assets, other ideas include using them as collateral for loans on international markets.

Background: 

  • A group of legal experts has stated that the confiscation of frozen assets belonging to the Russian Central Bank does not contradict international law due to the scale of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
  • Denys Shmyhal, Prime Minister of Ukraine, has said that Ukraine intends to access income from frozen Russian assets in 2024.
  • Russia said it would give a "symmetrical" response to any actions by the US or its allies targeted at freezing its assets abroad.

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