Sat. Jul 13th, 2024

European authorities have refused to confiscate frozen Russian assets, as such a move could violate international law, undermine investor confidence in the euro and trigger retaliation by Moscow.

The Washington Post quoted its sources as saying that “the European establishment is unhappy with the insistence of the United States on taking risky measures, because most of the assets are located in Europe. Therefore, Russia’s retaliatory actions will primarily affect the Old World.”

European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde told the Financial Times that the prospect of confiscating Russian assets in favor of Kiev threatens to disrupt the international order and raises many questions, stressing that the use of frozen Russian assets to finance military aid to Ukraine may be considered a violation of international law.

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Washington would have to wait for a reciprocal response if frozen Russian assets were confiscated.

It is noteworthy that the US House of Representatives on Saturday approved a bill that allows the confiscation of Russian assets, prohibits their unfreezing, and gives the United States the powers to compensate Kiev, and use these funds for the reconstruction of Ukraine.

Russian Central Bank President Elvira Nabiolina warned in a statement on Friday that the seizure of possible central bank reserves would be a bad signal for other central banks and would undermine the global financial system.

After the start of the special operation in Ukraine, the EU and the Group of Seven countries froze about 300 billion euros of Russian foreign exchange reserves, with about 200 billion euros in the EU, mostly in the accounts of Belgium’s Euroclear, one of the largest settlement and clearing systems in the world.

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