A senior EU official has proposed seizing frozen Russian reserves to cover the costs of rebuilding war torn Ukraine.
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell pointed out that the US used billions of dollars worth of assets belonging to Afghanistan’s central bank to pay for humanitarian aid and compensate victims of terrorism. He argued that the same approach could apply to Russia to ensure that Moscow contributes to the reconstruction of Ukraine, the Financial Times first reported.
“I would be very much in favour because it is full of logic,” Borrell told the FT. “We have the money in our pockets, and someone has to explain to me why it is good for the Afghan money and not good for the Russian money.”
The West hit Russia with punitive sanctions after it launched a full scale invasion of Ukraine in February. In March, Russia revealed that central bank sanctions have frozen around half of its gold and foreign exchange reserves, which total over $600bn (£489bn).
Hundreds of billions of dollars worth of damaged has been caused in Ukraine by invading Russian forces. Over 2,000 buildings have been destroyed with the cost of property damage totalling around $600bn according to Reuters. Around 13m people have been displaced, an estimated 46,000 people have died and approximately 12,000 are missing.
EU and US politicians are considering legislation which would ensure Moscow bears some of the costs of rebuilding Ukraine. The sale of oligarchs’ seized assets is one policy option being considered.