Russian assets worth 17 bn euros frozen by EU, may transfer it to Ukraine damages fund: Official

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European Union Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders said in an interview published on Saturday that the EU has frozen Russian assets worth around 17 billion euros since Moscow invaded Ukraine in February this year.

The figure has risen from the roughly 13.8 billion euros “from oligarchs and other entities” that Reynders in July announced the EU had frozen, mainly in five countries.

“So far, the assets of 90 people have been frozen, more than 17 billion euros in seven member states, including 2.2 billion euros in Germany,” he told German media group Funke, including the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung daily.

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There has been a demand from Ukrainian officials for using the assets to rebuild their country after the war.

“If it is criminal money confiscated by the EU, it is possible to transfer it to a compensation fund for Ukraine,” Reynders said in the interview. 

“This amount is far from being sufficient to finance reconstruction,” he added.

He also noted that sanctions from Western countries have led to “freezing of 300 billion euros” of Central Bank of Russia foreign exchange reserves around the world. He said that this could be used as a guarantee.

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“From my point of view, it is at least possible to keep these 300 billion euros as a guarantee until Russia voluntarily participates in the reconstruction of Ukraine,” he said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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