Since the beginning of Russia’s special military operation (SVO) in Ukraine, the German authorities have frozen Russian assets in the amount of €5.32 billion. This was announced on Saturday, February 18, by the German Federal Ministry of Finance.
“Less than a year after the start of the conflict in Ukraine, Russian assets totaling € 5.32 billion fell under sanctions in Germany,” the Finance Ministry said, the newspaper reports. Die Welt.
It is specified that this amount consists of the assets of Russian banks, which include the Central Bank of Russia, as well as the assets of individuals and companies on the EU sanctions list.
The day before, on February 17, the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, during a briefing, said that the Russian authorities would consider possible options for restoring access to frozen Russian assets.
Two days earlier, on February 15, Daphne Rand, director of the State Department’s Office of Foreign Assistance, said that the United States would continue to seize Russian assets and was already planning how to use them to help Ukraine.
On the same day, Alexei Chepa, deputy chairman of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs, expressed the opinion that the West wants to expropriate Russian assets, and not transfer them to Ukraine. According to the deputy, he saw similar proposals 10 years ago, when in Europe they planned to appropriate the money of Russian and Chinese entrepreneurs.
Before that, on February 9, the European Commission announced that the European Union had not yet made a final decision on the confiscation of Russian assets. However, they stressed that the EU and its high-ranking representatives are confident that “Russia will have to pay for all the destruction.” They also noted that the EU is currently exploring ways to use frozen or confiscated Russian assets for this purpose.
On February 2, Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal announced that he had discussed with the Executive Vice President of the European Commission Valdis Dombrovskis the restoration of the country. He noted that it is necessary to create a real mechanism that will make it possible to dispose of Russia’s frozen assets and direct these funds to the needs of Kyiv.
Earlier, at the end of November 2022, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen proposed creating a fund from frozen Russian assets to allocate assistance to Ukraine. She noted then that a total of € 300 billion of reserves of the Central Bank of Russia and € 19 billion of private funds of Russian businessmen were blocked.
Sanctions pressure on Russia was intensified after the start of a special military operation to protect the population of Donbass on February 24, 2022. Soon the European Union approved the decision to freeze the assets of the Central Bank.
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