The EU’s executive body, the European Commision, is planning to roll out proposals to allow EU countries to confiscate assets belonging to Russian oligarchs, and then to sell them off.
Assets that are currently frozen by authorities across EU member states should be sold, rather than merely frozen, two EU officials told the publication Politico.
Some of the proceeds should be used to rebuild war-torn Ukraine, the EC said.
The proposals are based on EU Treaty provisions that allow member states, together with the European Parliament, to “establish minimum rules concerning the definition of criminal offences and sanctions in the areas of particularly serious crime with a cross-border dimension.”
Anger in Moscow
The EU plans do not go down well in Moscow.
Using Russia’s frozen reserves to rebuild Ukraine would be “outright theft” according to the Kremlin.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov branded the idea “illegal, blatant and of course requiring an appropriate response… It would be, in fact, outright theft.”
This comes after major international organisations have quit Russia, while governments including the UK and US, as well as countries in the European Union have sanctioned the Kremlin.
During a recent meeting in Berlin today, finance ministers for the G7 planned $15bn in aid to rebuild Ukraine in wake of the devastating invasion and war waged by the Kremlin.
This would reportedly cover three months and come through loans that would not have to be repaid.