Borrell: Russia's frozen reserves in the EU should be directed to the restoration of Ukraine According to Borrell, the EU countries should follow the example of the United States in relation to the Central Bank of Afghanistan and withdraw Russia's frozen reserves, so that these funds would later be used to restore Ukraine
European Union (EU) countries should consider withdrawing Russia's frozen foreign exchange reserves to help pay for the cost of rebuilding Ukraine after the conflict. This was stated in an interview with the Financial Times by the head of EU diplomacy, Josep Borrell.
Borrell cited “billions of dollars” of assets seized by the United States as an example. from the central bank of Afghanistan, which, according to him, will later be used to compensate victims of terrorism and for humanitarian assistance to the country. The diplomat noted that “it was logical” consider similar steps with Russia's frozen reserves.
“I would be very much in favor of it, because it [the initiative] is full of logic <…> Someone needs to explain to me why this [reserve withdrawal] is good for Afghan money and bad for Russian money,” — said the head of European diplomacy.
In his opinion, the question of how to pay for the restoration of Ukraine is one of the key political issues for the EU, given the “incredible amount of money” that is needed. He also expressed the hope that the discussion about “war compensation” will come from Russia.
As of April 1, 2022, the volume of Russia's international reserves amounted to $606.5 billion. The Ministry of Finance previously reported that after the start of the Russian special operation, Western countries froze about half of Russia's gold and foreign exchange reserves (about $300 billion). At the same time, assets in Chinese yuan, monetary gold stored in Russia (as of February 1, about $132 billion), cash reserves and special drawing rights (SDR, about $24 billion) in the IMF remain legally out of reach for sanctions.
The head of the Central Bank, Elvira Nabiullina, said on April 19 that the Russian side would challenge the freezing of gold and foreign exchange reserves and was already preparing lawsuits. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused Western countries of actually stealing Russian gold and foreign exchange reserves. “When, after the start of a special military operation in Ukraine, our Western“ friends ” stole more than $300 billion from us, in fact they stole what they themselves paid for gas. In other words, they have been using our gas for free all these years, — the Minister emphasized.
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