The UK will not return the frozen Russian assets until the Russian authorities agree to pay compensation to Ukraine for military damage, reports The Guardian. This position was voiced last week by British Foreign Minister James Cleverley.
The newspaper writes that an “alternative, less legally risky strategy” is gaining ground in the UK, suggesting that the West will hold on to Russia’s assets until it agrees to pay compensation. The British House of Commons has already demanded that the government develop a plan for the use of Russian assets. A number of representatives of the ruling Conservative Party and the opposition Labor Party are in favor of their complete confiscation. However, the UK government refuses to take on the obligation to expropriate the funds of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, fearing to create a precedent that will paralyze the international financial system and provoke countermeasures against London.
The Guardian clarifies that in 2022 the state assets of the Russian Federation frozen by the UK were estimated at £ 26 billion (2.5 trillion rubles). British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said the kingdom is working with allies on the legal process to use these assets to rebuild Ukraine. On May 17, French President Emmanuel Macron announced that the 46 member states of the Council of Europe had decided to create a “damage register” to record losses and destruction in Ukraine as a result of the Russian military operation. The Japan Times reported that the G7 countries are also looking for ways to transfer the frozen assets of the Russian Federation to Ukraine.