Biden eyeing June deadline for Russian assets plan – Bloomberg — RT World News

European Union leaders are reluctant to seize the frozen billions, for fear of retaliation and damage to the euro

President Joe Biden is urging his fellow G7 leaders to make progress on a plan to use frozen Russian assets to finance Kiev by the time they meet in June, Bloomberg reported Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter.

While the UK and Canada call for the seizure of frozen Russian sovereign assets to fund the Ukrainian army and its reconstruction, France and Germany have reservations.

Most of Russia's assets are located in the European Union, especially in the Belgium-based Euroclear clearinghouse. Taking too strong a step without legal justification could undermine the euro's status as a reserve currency and further damage the bloc's reputation, senior members fear, according to Bloomberg.

There is also the threat of retaliation from Moscow. Russia has condemned the freeze of nearly $300 billion of its national wealth as illegal, and warned that any move to seize the funds would be a criminal act.

Last month, the European Council took measures aimed at imposing a windfall tax on profits generated by Russian money and sending the proceeds to Ukraine. The Russian Foreign Ministry said that Brussels is trying to do so “Creating the illusion of legitimacy over attacks on our property and thus camouflaging what is in fact outright theft.”

Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said in an interview last week that there were Western assets of similar value under Russian jurisdiction that could be targeted in retaliation.

“That's not a question for us. We follow the decisions of Western countries.” He said. “Any actions related to our assets will receive a corresponding response.” The minister noted that other global players are closely monitoring developments and have adjusted their policies accordingly.

For example, the Chinese, whose foreign reserves exceed $3 trillion, according to the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, “They reduce their exposure to US securities.” a result.

It is reported that European Union countries are considering other options to make the frozen Russian assets serve Ukraine's interests without resorting to completely confiscating them. For example, they can be provided as collateral to lenders for money borrowed on behalf of Kiev.

Ultimately, Western countries want Moscow to willingly pay compensation to Kiev for the conflict in Ukraine, before regaining control of Russian assets.

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