EU to submit plan to seize revenue from frozen Russian assets for kyiv

The European Union will present on Wednesday a plan aimed at seizing revenues generated by Russian assets frozen after the invasion of Ukraine, in order to finance the purchase of weapons for Kiev, the head of the European diplomacy Josep Borrell.

“A proposal will be put on the table tomorrow (Wednesday)”, on the eve of a summit of the Twenty-Seven, Mr. Borrell told several journalists in Brussels. The seizure of the income produced by these assets – which represents nearly 200 billion euros in the EU – should make it possible to free up “three billion euros per year”, the majority of which would go to financing purchases of arms to Ukraine, he explained.

After a little more than two years of war, the Ukrainian army is short of manpower and in need of munitions and air defense systems to contain an offensive Russian army. “The summer will be decisive,” stressed Mr. Borrell on this point, who expects a major Russian offensive against Ukraine during this period. “Everything will be decided this summer,” he insisted.

Under the proposal, which is expected to be discussed by the leaders of the 27 member countries at a summit on Thursday and Friday, 90% of the seized revenues will go to the European Peace Facility (EFF), which finances arms purchases. The remaining 10% will be paid into the EU budget to “strengthen the capabilities of the Ukrainian defense industry”, according to Mr Borrell.

How to use Russian state assets, which were blocked after Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, is the subject of intense discussion.

Some countries fear the consequences of such a seizure, whether on income from Russian assets or, a fortiori, on these assets themselves, fearing the precedent that this could create for the financial markets.

“The European Central Bank has been fully consulted,” underlined Mr. Borrell, for whom it is now time to discuss based on a concrete text, to allow a rapid decision. Hungary, for its part, is opposed to any EU financing of arms purchases for Ukraine, but it has abstained each time the European Peace Facility (EFF) has been mobilized in favor of kyiv, noted the Spanish official.

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