The Council of the European Union (EU) adopted a decision this Monday to be able to use profits from the assets and reserves of the Russian central bank, frozen by member states, to pay for the future reconstruction of Ukraine after the war.
Following a political agreement reached around two weeks ago, “the Council today adopted a decision and a regulation clarifying the obligations of central securities depositories holding assets and reserves of the Russian Central Bank immobilized as a result of EU restrictive measures.” , indicates in a statement the structure that brings together European countries.
The objective is, with this measure, to ensure a “possible creation of a financial contribution to the EU budget from these net profits to support Ukraine and its recovery and reconstruction at a later stage”, according to the organization.
The initiative comes after the EU decided, as one of the sanctions imposed on Russia for the invasion of Ukraine, to prohibit any transactions related to the management of reserves and assets of the Russian central bank, with the remaining relevant assets held by financial institutions in the States -limbs becoming frozen.
Today’s decision, in line with the G7 position, “clarifies the prohibition of these transactions, as well as the legal status of the revenues generated […] with Russian fixed assets and establishes clear rules for the entities that hold them”, explains the EU Council.
Member States’ ambassadors to the EU reached, at the end of January, an agreement in principle to use profits from frozen Russian assets, which should raise 15 billion euros, to support the reconstruction of Ukraine.
Earlier, at the end of last year, the European Commission proposed an initiative to identify resources related to Russian sovereign assets frozen due to EU sanctions, with a view to using them for the reconstruction of Ukraine.
This measure — which initially envisaged full use of frozen Russian assets and now focuses on their profits — comes at a time when the 27 EU member states (mainly Belgium) have already frozen more than 200 billion euros in Russian assets due to sanctions policy.
The Russian military offensive on Ukrainian territory, launched on February 24 last year, plunged Europe into what is considered the most serious security crisis since the Second World War (1939-1945). Ukraine’s Western allies have supplied weapons to Kiev and approved successive sanctions packages on Russia to try to reduce Moscow’s ability to finance the war.
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