Germany opposes seizure of Russian assets

10:06 30.04.2024 •

Germany opposes the seizure of frozen Russian assets, fearing it could set a precedent and lead to new lawsuits against Berlin for World War II crimes, The Wall Street Journal writes.

"Berlin has emerged as one of the fiercest opponents of the U.S.-led push to commandeer some of the nearly $300 billion of Russian central-bank assets that were frozen. [...] Germany fears that seizing, rather than freezing, the funds could create a precedent and inspire new claims against them for WWII-era crimes," the report said.

Berlin said international law prohibits individuals from suing states in foreign courts and that state assets are protected from confiscation. German officials noted that violating this principle in the case of Russia could undermine Germany's longstanding legal position, the newspaper said.

Since the start of the special operation in Ukraine, G7 countries and the EU have frozen almost half of Russia's foreign currency reserves, worth about 300 billion euros. Western countries are actively looking for a way to seize these assets and hand them over to Kiev.

On April 23, the European People's Party, the largest political group in the European Parliament, has called on the bloc to confiscate all frozen Russian assets to finance reparations for Ukraine. This comes after the US House of Representatives passed a draft law on April 20 to transfer frozen Russian assets to Ukraine.

The Kremlin said that such decisions "would be another step in disregarding all rules and norms of international law." The Russian Foreign Ministry called the freezing of Russian assets theft, noting that these steps target not only the funds of private individuals, but also Moscow's state assets.


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