Paolo Gentiloni said the release of €50 billion for Ukraine had bought the bloc at one point
The EU is cautious about calls to seize Russian SWFs, EU Economic Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni told the Financial Times on Tuesday.
The United States and its allies froze an estimated $300 billion in Russian assets in February 2022, under the pretext of the military operation against Ukraine. There were calls for this money to be completely confiscated and handed over to Kiev. Recently, the Belgian government proposed establishing “Special purpose vehicle” This would use the money as collateral in the event that Russia refuses to pay the compensation demanded by Ukraine.
“We have a very gradual approach. We are going step by step… the moment we have made one decision,” EU Economic Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni told the Financial Times, referring to the move to seize interest on an estimated $5 billion in frozen assets.
He added: “We need joint decisions and solidarity at the G7 level, but at the same time this is a particularly European issue, because the assets are mostly located here.” The Italian politician added.
The United States has pushed for the expropriation because its $60 billion funding package has stalled in Congress. But last week Hungary withdrew its veto over the EU plan to send 50 billion euros ($53.7 billion) to Kiev over the next four years, after pressure from Brussels.
He added: “The truth is that we have decided, and perhaps the United States is also making a decision, regarding financial support [for Ukraine] It gives us more time to avoid addressing these issues in a hasty manner. Gentiloni told FT.
The bulk of Russian assets are held by the Belgium-based clearing company Euroclear. Bloc officials have repeatedly acknowledged concerns about the impact Moscow's retaliation could have on both Euroclear and the EU currency itself.
“We are entering uncharted waters,” Politico quoted an unnamed European Union diplomat as saying on Monday. “Anyone would be concerned about the potential consequences of asset forfeiture.”
Russia has protested the asset freeze as illegal and inappropriate, while making clear that seizing them would amount to a freeze “theft” It has consequences. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that Moscow would respond in kind, adding that he did not expect that “Any reasonable actions or steps by Western adversaries.”
Anyone who makes such a move will face… “contracts” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday that there were lawsuits. “Trespassing undermines the foundations of the entire economic system.” he added.
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