“Ice cream and confiscation are two different things”
How informs Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky estimated that up to 600 billion dollars may be needed to restore the country’s territory after hostilities. your costs.”
The article states that in the latest joint statements of the finance ministers of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovakia, the European Union is called upon to “find a way to finance the reconstruction of cities and towns in Ukraine from the frozen assets of the Central Bank of Russia”. Thus, the Russian Federation “can be held responsible for its actions and repair the damage that has occurred.
“The confiscation of Russian assets was also the main theme of the meeting of top economic officials of the G7 countries this month, and the idea received the support of Germany and Canada,” the authors of the material added.
However, “the United States, which led the global effort to isolate Russia with harsh sanctions, was much more cautious in this situation.”
“The Biden administration is debating whether to join efforts to seize (Russia’s – socialbites.ca) assets, including dollars and euros. According to the New York Times, only some of the funds are held in the United States, with most of them placed in Europe, including the Bank for International Settlements in Switzerland.
The authors of the publication emphasized that due to the freezing of funds, the Russian government cannot return them or spend them on a military special operation in Ukraine. However, “capturing (freezing) money and actually having it are two different things.”
“The United States has not taken a firm stance on the fate of assets. Several senior officials (from the Biden administration – socialbites.ca), speaking on condition of anonymity, claimed that a final decision had not been made. One of the officials said that it would be satisfactory and justified to withdraw funds to be paid for the reconstruction (of Ukraine – socialbites.ca). However, the precedent this creates could impact the US as the safest place in the world to store assets. And this is a matter of deep concern,” the article states.
In response, the U.S. Treasury representative said that under U.S. law, “the United States can confiscate foreign property if the President decides that the country has been attacked or “participated in hostilities.”
However, some experts interviewed by the publication believe that after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the US president had broader powers. For example, it may resort to “Russian cyberattacks” to seize the assets of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation.
The legality of confiscation
Earlier, on the sidelines of the G7 Cabinet, Jennet Yellen, the head of the US Treasury, said that US law does not allow the seizure of detained Russian property in favor of Ukraine.
“Now in the US it will not be legal for authorities to seize these assets. “This is not legal in the US, and as you know, other countries are also facing legal issues in this regard,” he said.
According to him, “given the massive destruction in Ukraine and the enormous reconstruction costs it will have to face”, it is “natural” for the United States and its allies to “turn to Russia to help pay at least some of it”. The amount to be associated with it.”
However, he worries that the CBR’s seizure of foreign exchange reserves “may make other countries reluctant to hold their reserves in dollars, fearing that the United States and its allies will seize funds in future conflicts.”
As the New York Times article points out, if talks between Russia and Ukraine resume, the United States and its allies will not have the opportunity to offer Moscow “significant sanctions” if their assets in foreign accounts are seized.
After Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine, Western countries froze the Russian Central Bank’s foreign exchange reserves exceeding $300 billion. About half of their foreign exchange reserves are blocked. Russian President Vladimir Putin described the actions of Western countries as “theft” and stressed that it “doesn’t do anyone any good”.