The IMF ‘would not be involved’ in any ‘decisions’ on Russian assets

12:12 14.02.2024 •

Gita Gopinath, First Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund.
Photo: Reuters

The International Monetary Fund warned that any decisions taken about seizing frozen Russian assets should be backed with "sufficient legal support" to avert future risks.

IMF First Deputy Managing Director Gita Gopinath, in an online interview with Foreign Policy magazine, said decisions about what to do with the assets rested solely with countries holding them. She declined to offer an opinion on how they should be used.

Gopinath said the IMF would evaluate the impact of any decisions taken on member countries, which include Russia, and the global economy, but the IMF would not be involved in the decisions.

The United States, the European Union and other Group of Seven advanced economies have been wrestling with how best to utilize frozen Russian assets to help support Ukraine.

Moscow has warned the West that any attempt to use frozen Russian assets as collateral to raise funds for Ukraine would be illegal and lead to years of litigation.

Some senior Western officials are concerned that confiscating Russian assets invested in government bonds denominated in euros, U.S. dollars and British pounds could undermine the willingness of central banks to store reserves with each other.

Gopinath noted that Russia's economy had performed better than expected, but said the economy was being driving by large amounts of fiscal transfers related to the war and high social transfers and it could face lower growth over the medium-term.

The IMF last month forecast that Russia's GDP would expand by 2.6% in 2024, 1.5 percentage points more than expected in October.

Russia’s economy has proven to be surprisingly resilient amid waves of Western sanctions in the nearly two years since the beginning of Special military operation in Ukraine, notes IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva.

In late January, the International Monetary Fund more than doubled its forecast for the pace of the country’s economic growth this year, raising it from 1.1% in October to 2.6%.


read more in our Telegram-channel