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10 Jan, 2023 09:50

EU nation pushes for seizure of Russian assets – Bloomberg

Estonia is expected to introduce draft bill this month ahead of a bloc-wide agreement in Brussels
EU nation pushes for seizure of Russian assets – Bloomberg

Estonian authorities are planning to present a legal framework allowing for the seizure of frozen Russian assets by the end of this month, Bloomberg reported Monday, citing a spokesman for the foreign ministry, Mihkel Tamm.

In December, Estonia’s foreign minister Urmas Reinsalu pledged to devise the plan for confiscating Russian assets without waiting for an all-EU decision.

At the same time, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, who has gained popularity for her vocal stance against Moscow, said that EU member states “need to take work forward on securing accountability for the crime of aggression and to use Russia’s frozen assets.”

Amid the sanctions that followed the launch of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine last February, the EU and other G7 states reportedly froze roughly €300 billion ($311 billion) in Russian central-bank reserves, along with billions in assets owned by sanctioned Russian individuals and companies.

Tallinn is reportedly planning to introduce its draft by the time the European Commission finalizes a bloc-wide agreement dealing with the frozen funds.

According to the Estonian Financial Intelligence Unit, frozen assets in Russian-owned accounts in the country amount to nearly €20 million ($21.5 million).

Earlier this month, media reports emerged that Berlin is open to using the confiscated assets of the Russian central bank to finance the reconstruction of Ukraine if Germany’s allies were to follow suit.

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