Make Russia foot the entire bill for Ukraine's devastation

23.04.2024 12:17

Make Russia foot the entire bill for Ukraine's devastation

Ukraine (121320)

All Russian frozen assets, not only the profits they generate, should be used to finance the reparations for the war damage inflicted on Ukraine. Rather than relying solely on sanctions, the EU should also consider internationally recognised countermeasures. These are political tools that allow Member States to seize frozen assets that can be used to help rebuild Ukraine.

This is the message the EPP Group wants to convey ahead of today’s plenary debate on the use of Russian frozen assets to support Ukraine’s victory and reconstruction. 

“Every day brings new damage to Ukraine, and the amount of damage goes far beyond the €400 billion that Ukraine has documented so far. An innovative and effective mechanism should be put in place in order to allow Ukrainians to rebuild their country. Russia has a legal obligation to fully compensate Ukraine for the damage it has inflicted during the war," insists Andrius Kubilius MEP, the European Parliament’s spokesman on Russia. 

According to the latest estimates, the measures currently under consideration in the EU would only be able to generate around €1.7-3.6 billion, while frozen Russian financial assets in Europe amount to almost €300 billion. This is because the proposed legal mechanism does not allow for the confiscation due to the international principle of legal immunity applicable to state assets

“A political countermeasure would allow to temporarily, until Russia again begins respecting rules of international law, disregard rules on state immunity and to seize frozen assets by means of legislative or executive acts adopted in accordance with national rules. The United States used similar mechanisms against Iranian state funds in 1981 and Iraqi state funds in 1992 to compensate for the damage inflicted on KuwaitThe US administration will now implement this same mechanism following the approval of the US Congress to confiscate 20 billion USD of Russian frozen assets," explains Kubilius. 

“It is time to make a bold decision on countermeasures and to confiscate all the €300 billion of frozen Russian assets. Our governments should put this issue on their agendas, while, the European Commission and European External Action Service should present an overview of the potential countermeasures in the EU and in national legal systems," adds Kubilius. 

International law and United Nations' recommendations foresee that states may use countermeasures in response to internationally wrongful acts of another state, with the aim to make the aggressor comply with its legal obligations.

Note to editors

The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 177 Members from all EU Member States

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