The European Union is currently studying how to permanently block Russia’s access to frozen central bank assets and use them to rebuild Ukraine.
Citing sources familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reports that experts were recently tasked with examining possible options and that discussions are at an early stage.
Christian Wigand, a spokesman for the European Commission, confirmed that “we are investigating how to make Russia pay for the destruction it has caused”.
EU leaders, he explained, asked the European Commission “to present options for the use of frozen assets for the reconstruction of Ukraine, in accordance with EU and international law.”
Taking control of the assets of the Russian central bank is considered an extremely complex undertaking that can be very difficult in legal terms, a “legal minefield”.
It is about $300 billion in reserves of Russia’s central bank, which were frozen by the EU, the US and other allies after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
If seizure is imposed, EU action would target assets located in Europe.
However, it is not known what the means are.
Even the US administration is aware of the EU’s intention, but it remains unclear whether it will take such steps.
As Bloomberg recalls, in May Treasury Department officials expressed concern about creating a precedent that would discourage other foreign central banks from keeping their assets in the US, reports Reporteri.net.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in May that she believed such a move in the US was “not something that is legally permissible,” but given the massive destruction in Ukraine and the huge reconstruction costs it will face, “we will consider helping Russia to pay. for at least part of the price to be included”.