Germany ‘open’ to seizing frozen Russian assets – Bloomberg
Germany is open to using the assets of the Russian central bank, frozen since last year as a result of sanctions, to finance the reconstruction of Ukraine, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.
The German government is reportedly in favor of using the funds in Ukraine, however no official position on the matter has yet been taken, as members of cabinet are divided on the issue, Bloomberg noted, citing people familiar with the discussions.
The EU and G7 froze some €300 billion ($311 billion) in reserves belonging to the Russian central bank, along with billions in assets owned by sanctioned Russian businessmen.
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock insists that at least some of the frozen assets must be seized, while Finance Minister Christian Lindner is concerned that the move could create a dangerous precedent and lead European nations and their allies into a legal quagmire, sources told Bloomberg.
Berlin would support the confiscation on condition that legal issues were resolved and its allies follow suit, the outlet adds.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen earlier said the EU would “find legal ways” to seize Russian assets to use in Ukraine.
The US has so far been more cautious out of concern that a confiscation would damage its reputation as a safe haven for foreign assets.
The Bank of Russia stated last week that it considered the chances of Western countries returning Russian assets frozen by sanctions as “extremely low,” despite the fact that they haven’t been legally confiscated.
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