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23 Apr, 2024 13:45

EU will lose more than Russia if it confiscates assets – Moscow

Russian lawmakers are ready to introduce a bill on retaliatory measures, the country’s top senator says
EU will lose more than Russia if it confiscates assets – Moscow

Moscow has drafted a package of retaliatory measures in the event that Western countries seize Russian sovereign assets that have been frozen over the Ukraine conflict, senior senator Valentina Matvienko warned on Tuesday.   

In an interview with Russian journalist Dmitry Kiselyov, the chairwoman of the Federation Council said that the EU’s potential move to confiscate Russian assets would be “unprecedented,” adding that it “would destroy the global economy.” 

“Of course, it would be absolutely illegal, and everyone in Europe understands that they can’t do that,” the official stated. 

Since the start of the Ukraine conflict in February 2022, the West has frozen around $300 billion in Russian central bank assets, most of which are being held in the EU. Moscow has repeatedly denounced the seizure as “theft.”

Officials in several Western nations, notably the US and the UK, have insisted on the outright confiscation of Russian assets despite widespread concerns that this would have no legal basis. In contrast, the EU has been reluctant to do so, reportedly fearing Russian retaliation.

Matvienko stressed that Russia has “a prepared response” to a potential confiscation. “We have a bill that we are ready to consider immediately in response. And the Europeans will lose more than we will. Of course, they are afraid of this, especially given that their economy is collapsing.”

The senator argued that Washington has crushed the EU, both politically and economically. “In the defense and security area, it used to be a vassal… but now it has been simply squashed by the Americans. They now want to strangle it even more… to make it even less competitive,” she stated.

With this in mind, Matvienko suggested that the European business community should vehemently protest against the potential seizures, as they would be the primary target of Moscow’s retaliatory measures.

While the EU has been dragging its feet on confiscating Russian assets, it has been working on a plan to seize the profits generated by those funds in order to procure weapons for Ukraine and boost its defense production capabilities.

According to Politico, however, some members of the bloc have voiced serious misgivings about the initiative. Hungary and Slovakia have opposed the idea of sending weapons to Ukraine, while Malta and Luxembourg are reportedly unhappy that they were not consulted about the plan.