International partners near decision on Russian assets to aid Ukraine – FM Kuleba

Dmytro Kuleba
Dmytro Kuleba

Kyiv’s partners are gradually approaching a decision on the use of frozen Russian assets in favor of Ukraine, and there are all international legal grounds for this, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told news agency Ukrinform on June 8.

"We not only expect, but are actively working to ensure that ambitious decisions on the use of frozen Russian assets are made at the G7 summit," he said.

Ukraine understands its partners' concerns about the consequences of this step, the diplomat added. But "there are all international legal grounds for using not only the profits but also the assets themselves in the interests of Ukraine." Kuleba is convinced that such a move by the West will demonstrate to all potential aggressors that there will be a price to pay for attacking another country.

Read also: G7 still looking for best way to use Russian assets to aid Ukraine

"It is important that the decision will set a precedent for the future," he said.

“In general, we see that our partners are moving towards this decision step by step. The steps to use the profits are already quite significant, and we are grateful for them.”

Estonia recently passed legislation that de jure allows the use of Russian assets, Kuleba stated, thanking the Estonian partners for having the courage to set precedents.

G7 members are expected to discuss an agreement to use proceeds of Russian assets to help Ukraine at a leaders' level meeting in Italy on June 13-15. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will also attend the meeting.

Read also: US and G7 advance plan to fund Ukraine with frozen Russian assets

Confiscation of Russian assets

The United States and European Union are jointly considering legal authority to direct $300 billion in Russian assets to Ukraine's reconstruction and other needs, U.S. State Secretary Antony Blinken said.

The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved a bill to confiscate Russian assets and transfer them to Ukraine to rebuild its infrastructure on Jan. 24.

Outlines of decisions necessary to transfer frozen Russian assets to Ukraine are already being prepared, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.

Bill No. 8038 on the transfer of frozen Russian assets to Ukraine received the required number of votes to be passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on April 20.

Ukraine may receive almost $8 billion as part of this procedure.

EU ambassadors reached a preliminary agreement on May 8 to direct revenue generated by frozen Russian assets toward supporting Ukraine.

The United States intends to use seized Russian assets to finance the reconstruction of Ukraine, Blinken confirmed on May 14, during a visit to Kyiv.

The first payment of surplus profits from the use of frozen Russian assets in the EU will be in July 2024, the European Commission announced on May 21.

Washington offered on May 22 to provide Ukraine with a $50 billion loan, which could be repaid with proceeds from Russian assets. However, such proposals have not yet been agreed upon. The G7 is also asking what will happen to Russian assets if they are unfrozen in the event of a peace agreement between Ukraine and Russia.

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