Europe to Arm Ukraine Using Seized Russian Funds: Scholz

by | Mar 15, 2024

Europe to Arm Ukraine Using Seized Russian Funds: Scholz

by | Mar 15, 2024

Ruble Rouble Ukraine War

FILE PHOTOS: A Ukrainian soldier fires an under-barrel grenade launcher; A stack of Russian rubles. (Credit: Ukrainian Defense Ministry; TASS / Anton Novoderezhkin)

Ukraine’s Western backers will soon use profits from frozen Russian assets to finance military aid for Kiev, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said. The announcement marked a shift for Berlin, which has been under pressure from allies to endorse the weapons-buying scheme.

Speaking during a Friday press briefing alongside French President Emmanuel Macron and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, Scholz said the leaders had agreed on a plan to distribute profits generated by the frozen assets.

“We will use windfall profits from Russian assets frozen in Europe to financially support the purchase of weapons for Ukraine,” he said.

Much of the $300 billion in Russian central bank funds is now frozen in Belgium’s main securities depository, Euroclear, in the form of gold, government bonds and foreign currency. Though Washington and a number of EU states have called to transfer the money to Ukraine, the bloc has yet to take that step amid disagreement over how the funds should be used.

However, a plan is slowly taking shape, with the Council of the European Union agreeing to set aside profits resulting from the frozen assets last month. Additional measures will be required before the money can be transferred to EU coffers, or ultimately handed to Kiev.

According to an unnamed EU official cited by the Guardian, the bloc has devised a “legally robust proposal” to confiscate some $29.5 billion in Russian profits over the next four years, with European leaders expected to announce a decision ahead of a summit in Brussels next Tuesday.

While the United States and Britain have urged Europe to seize the underlying Russian assets in addition to any related profits, EU members have been reluctant, suggesting the more aggressive approach could violate international law. Nonetheless, Scholz’s comments on Friday appear to mark progress toward further action, as Berlin had not publicly endorsed the arms-buying plan previously.

With billions in US assistance currently stalled in Congress, Kiev’s European sponsors have scrambled to boost military aid as Ukrainian troops face severe ammunition shortages and lose ground to Russian forces. France’s Macron has underscored the growing urgency in recent weeks, repeatedly declining to rule out Western troop deployments in Ukraine.

This article was originally featured at and is republished with permission.

About Will Porter

Will Porter is assistant news editor at the Libertarian Institute and a regular contributor at Find more of his work at Consortium News, ZeroHedge and RT.

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