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18 Oct, 2023 10:20

Russia threatens response to Western use of frozen assets

A reported $300 billion in Moscow’s forex reserves have been seized as part of Ukraine-related sanctions
Russia threatens response to Western use of frozen assets

Moscow will respond with similar measures if Western countries use revenues generated from frozen Russian assets, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov warned on Tuesday in an interview with Asharq TV.

Siluanov was commenting on the latest proposal made by several countries to use the profits from investing Russian frozen assets to cover the cost of the reconstruction of Ukraine.

“We have frozen the funds of unfriendly countries as well […] Then, we will do the same in this case,” the Finance Minister stated.

Nearly $300 billion of Russian forex reserves have reportedly been frozen since Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine began. According to official estimates, the Russian central bank’s reserves decreased by 8.4% in 2022.

In July, a major EU clearing house, Belgium-based Euroclear, revealed that of the €2.28 billion ($2.4 billion) it earned in the first half of 2023, it accrued more than €1.7 billion in profit from frozen Russian assets.

It’s estimated that Euroclear holds €196.6 billion worth of Russian assets, the vast majority of which is owned by the Bank of Russia. The EU has reportedly frozen €207 billion in Russian assets and reserves since February 2022.

EU policymakers are expected to discuss the imposition of a windfall tax on profits generated from the immobilized funds estimated to create some €3 billion in profits.

Earlier this month, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said that his nation would send the tax revenue worth €1.7 billion that has been generated from seized Russian assets to Ukraine.

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