International Working Group on Russian Sanctions: Working Group Paper #6 “Why and How to Confiscate Russia’s Sovereign Assets to Help Rebuild Ukraine”

2022-10-11 | Expert publications, Sanctions, Asset confiscation

The principle is clear: Russia ought to pay substantial reparations to Ukraine after this horrific and senseless war. The moral and practical answer is clear. In response to Putin’s gross violations of international law, these funds can and should be confiscated through an international compensation mechanism and subsequent national legislation, and then diverted towards a Compensation Fund for Ukraine, out of which the decisions of the compensation commission will be paid out. In the future, other seized assets from Russian individuals, companies, and the state might also be transferred to this fund. The Central Bank reserves, however, should be the first and most appropriate target. They and their owner are identified. They are indisputable property of the Russian Federation that is highly liquid and involve minimal administrative and legal work. It is the Russian government that ordered the invasion of Ukraine. It is the Russian government, therefore, that should pay for Ukrainian reconstruction. 

It is envisaged that the multilateral international agreement is concluded on the establishment of the compensation mechanism, including the Compensation Fund between these parties and the Ukrainian government, so that an international institution to which funds can be provided is created as soon as possible.


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Additional memos, papers, and articles that informed this white paper can be found on the Stanford Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies website: