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EU has frozen 17 billion euros in Russian assets since Ukraine invasion: Official


BRUSSELS: The European Union (EU) has frozen around 17 billion euros ($16.9 billion) in Russian assets since Moscow invaded UkraineEU Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders said in an interview published on Saturday.
This is up from about 13.8 billion euros “from financiers and other entities” that Reynders in July announced the EU had frozen, mainly in five countries.
“So far, the assets of 90 people have been frozen, more than 17 billion euros in seven member countries, including 2.2 billion euros in Germany,” he told German media group Funke, including including the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung daily.
Ukrainian officials have called for the assets to be used to rebuild their country after the war.
“If it’s criminal money confiscated by the EU, it can be transferred to the compensation fund for Ukraine,” Reynders said in the interview.
“This amount is far from sufficient to finance reconstruction,” he added.
Reynders noted that Western sanctions have also resulted in a “300 billion euro freeze” by the Central Bank. Russia foreign exchange reserves around the world, saying this can be used as a guarantee.
“In my view, at least this 300 billion euros can be kept as a security until Russia voluntarily participates in the reconstruction of Ukraine,” he said.
Since Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, 1,236 people including the Russian President Vladimir Putin and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrovas well as financiers including Roman Abramovichhas had its assets frozen and banned from the EU.

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