MEP: EU should use countermeasures to fully confiscate Russian assets

MEP: EU should use countermeasures to fully confiscate Russian assets

The EU must make firm decisions regarding the aggressor country and use the countermeasures provided for by UN law to seize and use all EUR 300 billion of frozen Russian state assets, not just the interest income from them, to protect and rebuild Ukraine.

MEP from Lithuania, a member of the European People's Party political group Andrius Kubilius said this in Strasbourg during a speech to MEPs on Tuesday during plenary hearings on ways to deal with frozen Russian assets, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

"Every day [of Russian aggression] brings new destruction to Ukraine, the amount of which is already well over EUR 400 billion. Russia must pay in full for this damage. Ukraine's victory requires annual Western military support of up to EUR 100 billion. According to European Commission Vice President/High Representative Borrell, the measures against Russian assets currently on the EU's table can generate about EUR 3 billion annually," Kubilius said.

Read also: Ukraine has transatlantic support it needs to stand up to Russian aggression - Borrell

At the same time, he said, frozen Russian assets amount to about EUR 300 billion.

"That is why the EU should use an internationally recognized countermeasure tool that will give member states the opportunity to seize all frozen assets, not just the profits they generate, and use them to rebuild Ukraine and its military needs," the European politician added.

According to Kubilius, the reference to the fact that such confiscation measures are prohibited by the international principle of legal immunity applicable to state assets is completely false, as the UN recommendations in the field of international law stipulate that states may use such a countermeasure in response to illegal international actions of another state, and the situation with Russia's military aggression against Ukraine is exactly such a case.

Kubilius reminded that a similar mechanism was used by the United States against the state of Iran in 1991, as well as against the state of Iraq in 1992 to compensate for the damage caused to Kuwait. The same mechanism will be applied by the US Administration now, after the US Congress approved the confiscation of USD 20 billion of Russian frozen assets.

"It's time for the EU to take firm decisions on countermeasures and confiscate all EUR 300 billion of frozen Russian assets," the MEP emphasized.

This proposal was supported by the majority of MEPs who took part in the discussion during the plenary session.

Read also: Russia's war on Ukraine “existential threat” to Europe - Borrell

As Ukrinform reported earlier, during the European Council meeting held in Brussels on April 17-18, the heads of state and government of the EU countries expressed their strong support for Ukraine's fight against Russian aggression, called on the member states to urgently provide Ukraine with additional air defense capabilities and ammunition, as well as to speed up work on finding a legal solution to use the proceeds from the sovereign assets of the Russian Central Bank frozen in the EU in Ukraine's interests.

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