Russia mulls swapping frozen assets – finance minister
Moscow is considering exchanging foreign assets frozen in Russia for Russian assets seized by Western countries, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on Friday.
“We have such initiatives under consideration,” the official confirmed in an interview with the television channel Rossiya 24, adding that it’s important to observe the interests of both Russian and foreign investors on this issue.
He noted that such a swap is “theoretically” possible but that legal options would need to be developed that would enable Russia to use the frozen assets of foreign investors for settlements in exchange for the country’s property seized abroad. Siluanov added that the volume of sanctioned assets should first be verified and confirmed.
According to Russian estimates unveiled earlier this year, almost $300 billion in the country’s foreign currency reserves have been frozen as part of Western sanctions. Additionally, billions more worth of assets belonging to Russian citizens and businesses have been arrested.
While the EU has been looking into ways of confiscating Russian assets, Moscow has pointed out that doing so is illegal under international law and would essentially constitute theft.
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