Some European Union (EU) countries are concerned about the risks of transferring frozen Russian assets to the needs of Ukraine, writes Politico. In particular, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo indicated that it is necessary to prepare a legal framework that will eliminate the risks of destabilization of the international financial system.
“We, together with the G7 countries and the European Commission, are looking for a structural solution to the problem of frozen assets that does not destabilize the international financial system. It is necessary to prepare a legal basis, and it is clear that Belgium cannot do this on its own,” said Alexander De Croo.
Politico notes that Luxembourg, where another depository with frozen Russian assets is located, Clearstream, also expresses solidarity with Belgium’s position. “We are ready to help, but we need to be consulted. The money is in Belgium. If you do something, it should be in cooperation with us,” Mr. De Croo emphasized.
Most of the Russian foreign exchange reserves frozen as part of the sanctions imposed in response to the deployment of Russian troops in Ukraine are located in the EU. Of this, €180 billion is concentrated in the Belgian Euroclear. The total volume of Bank of Russia assets blocked by Western countries is estimated at $300 billion.
The European Commission previously announced the existence of legal possibilities for the confiscation of frozen assets of the Russian Federation and their transfer to Ukraine. But, according to Bloomberg, the European Union has concluded that it cannot do this legally. The agency also wrote that the European Central Bank warned about the risks Europe would face in this case. Ukraine talked about preparing an “honest mechanism” for the confiscation of Russian assets worth $500 billion.