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Germany Supports Tapping Frozen Russian Assets for Ukrainian Arms - Scholz

© AP Photo / Markus SchreiberGerman Finance Minister Olaf Scholz briefs the media about the budget 2022 during a news conference in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, June 23, 2021
German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz briefs the media about the budget 2022 during a news conference in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, June 23, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 16.03.2024
The West has been orchestrating a way to supply Ukraine with arms by using money from frozen Russian central bank assets for more than a year. Meanwhile, Moscow has maintained that any theft of their frozen assets will trigger a symmetrical response.
On Friday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that European countries would use the windfall profits from nearly $300 billion in frozen Russian assets to enable their weapon purchases for Ukraine, according to a recent report from a New York City journal.
Scholz spoke to reporters alongside French President Emmanual Macron and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk. Scholz’s announcement on Friday comes after the US and the UK have put repeated pressure on some EU countries to agree to using the stolen assets as a way to fund Ukraine.
While this is the first time that Berlin has voiced support for the idea, about a week prior UK foreign secretary David Cameron said the UK was prepared to loan Ukraine all frozen Russian central bank assets in the state based on the believe that Ukraine would pay those loans back with Russian “reparations” following the end of the war.
British Prime Minister David Cameron gets in the back of a car as he leaves 10 Downing Street to attend Prime Minister's Questions at the Houses of Parliament, London, Wednesday, June 3, 2015 - Sputnik International, 1920, 07.03.2024
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But Germany, France and Italy still oppose completely confiscating the assets, because they believe it will weaken international confidence in the euro, and they have legal concerns about the validity of such an act. But even though the assets are frozen, they have matured and been reinvested, generating profits that EU officials say could reach 15 billion euros ($16 billion) over the next four years, the report claims.
The EU has agreed to order financial institutions to separate the profits from the Russian assets into a different account. But EU officials will not make a second proposal to transfer the money to EU or national coffers until the bloc has enough support from other states. The proposal is expected to come as soon as next week, the report adds.
Of the roughly $282 billion in Russian assets immobilized in Japan and the West, around $207 billion (€191 billion) are held at Euroclear, a clearinghouse based in Belgium.
Russia has maintained that they will take retaliatory measures in response to any theft of their assets. Euroclear is already facing 50 and 100 lawsuits in Russian courts over the frozen assets. Finance Minister Anton Siluanov told Sputnik in late February that any theft of frozen assets will trigger a symmetrical response.
The photo shows Euro banknotes in Dortmund, western Germany, on January 27, 2020. - Sputnik International, 1920, 13.03.2024
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