Poland regrets the EC's delays in working on the use of Russia's frozen assets, which should have been transferred to the reconstruction of Ukraine. This is about EUR 200 billion frozen in EU countrie
"I must say with regret that practically nothing is being done in this matter", the Polish ambassador to the EU, Andrzej Sadoś, told in Brussels. The EC promised that specific proposals would appear before the holidays. Poland expects that the working group dealing with this issue will immediately work on preparing specific legal solutions. The group meeting is to take place on Wednesday, September 13.
The 27-nation EU immobilized over 200 billion euros of assets of the Russian central bank and another 30 billion in private assets of Russian oligarchs over Moscow's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
Options being considered include charging interest or tax on the income generated by Russian assets, while leaving the assets themselves untouched.
The problem, however, is the weakening of the political will to act quickly on this matter.
Reservations regarding the legal basis for this form of confiscation of Russian assets have been raised by the European Central Bank and several EU countries. This includes: about concerns that confiscation could negatively impact confidence in the euro as the world's second-largest reserve currency.
"It is clear that Russia must pay for the reconstruction of Ukraine, but it must be done in accordance with EU and international law", one can hear on the sidelines in Brussels.
The problem is that these types of comments have been heard for almost a year, but nothing is happening with it. Poland and the Baltic States were the first to propose the idea of transferring frozen Russian assets for the reconstruction of Ukraine.
Due to the war in Ukraine, the EU and G7 countries have frozen almost half of Russia's foreign exchange reserves, worth approximately EUR 300 billion.
About EUR 200 billion is in the EU, mainly in the accounts of the Belgian Euroclear - one of the world's largest clearing houses.
EU officials have underlined that putting Russian assets to work for Ukraine is legally very tricky and noted that while seizing the capital itself might not be possible, there could be a way to divert the interest generated by the assets to Ukraine.
There is also the option of taxing the profits made by the custodians of the assets.