Olena Halushka: Here’s how to find more funds for Ukraine – liquidate Russia’s $300bn in frozen assets

2023-12-11 | Expert publications, Asset confiscation

he White House has warned that the US will run out of funds for Ukraine by the end of the year if Congress doesn’t approve a new assistance package. In Hungary, the Viktor Orbán government has threatened to take the EU’s Ukraine facility hostage. Meanwhile, Russia hasn’t given up its goal of subjugating or destroying Ukraine. Its economy is gearing up for years of war, and its latest budget for 2024 boosts defence spending by nearly 70%. The aggressor is effectively circumventing sanctions by selling oil above the price cap or importing western chips for its drones and missiles.

Hopefully, the aid packages being debated in the US and Europe will be approved, but there is also a straightforward way to unlock more funding for Ukraine. While we are grateful for every penny of international assistance, it is time to make Russia pay too: by confiscating the $300bn (£238bn) in Russian central bank assets currently frozen by western states. The G7 and EU could work towards this in coalition.

This has been suggested before, but opponents hide behind a variety of legal, economic and political objections.

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