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What about 191 billion frozen euros from Russia?

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TLDR:

  • After the G7 froze Russia’s assets, there are 191bn euros currently held in Euroclear in Belgium.
  • Western policymakers are debating how to use these funds to support Ukraine in its conflict with Russia.

In economic terms, an asset’s value lies in the future benefits it can provide its owner. The Central Bank of Russia, like others, stores reserve assets abroad, but after the freezing of Russia’s assets post the invasion of Ukraine, the debate now lies in how these funds can be utilized to aid Ukraine in its current state of need. Western policymakers are considering various options, including confiscation of assets, to support Ukraine financially and militarily.

One proposed idea is for the West to provide a loan to Ukraine against its claims on Russia as collateral. This would allow for a creative way to match assets with claims and support Ukraine in its fight. However, challenges lie in the legal complexities of seizing assets and the involvement of various international bodies in determining the debt owed by Russia to Ukraine.

Alternatively, the EU is considering implementing a windfall tax on the profits from Russia’s assets, which could serve as a continuous source of funding for Ukraine without the need for seizing assets. The ultimate goal remains to find a sustainable way to fund Ukraine’s fight against Russia.


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