The EU legal service has effectively confirmed that it has no clue about the whereabouts of 86% of frozen Russian central bank’s assets, Bloomberg reported.
The European Union should consider requiring banks to report details on the value of frozen Russian central bank assets if it wants to use sanctioned funds to help pay for Ukraine’s reconstruction, according to the bloc’s lawyers.
The EU’s legal service said the bloc’s laws would permit it to invest the frozen assets and use the proceeds to help Kyiv, but officials must first get a handle on the scale of central bank and other sanctioned state-backed assets that have been immobilized, according to a document shared this week with member states as leaders met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in Brussels.
Officials have estimated that some $258 billion could be located, based on information the Bank of Russia gave in a 2022 report on its foreign exchange and gold asset management, according to the document. So far, EU nations have reported about €33.8 billion ($36.4 billion) of Russian central bank assets that have been frozen, but that figure is still being assessed.
“Russia will also have to pay for the destruction it caused and will have to contribute to the reconstruction of Ukraine,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said at a news conference. “Therefore, we are exploring with our partners how to use Russia’s public assets to the benefit of Ukraine.”
The EU legal document said that the bloc should work with the Group of Seven and international partners if it aims to invest the frozen assets and use the proceeds. It also said the financial suitability of such a plan will depend on the amount held by EU central banks and commercial banks.
In order to transfer the Russian assets to Ukraine, they should be found first, the legal service said. It recommended that the EU summit bind European banks to immediately provide all data on the frozen Russian assets to the European Commission.
…The European Union wanted to steal Russian money, but now they can't even find it. Maybe the money has been already stolen?
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