Poland suggests plan for seized Russian assets

The EU could issue bonds backed by the funds to reconstruct Ukraine, Warsaw says

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki proposed to the European Commission on Friday that bonds be issued, backed by the “confiscated” funds from Russia and its citizens. The assets have been frozen by the EU, and officially have not been confiscated.

According to the premier, “the European Commission says that today there are no new funds in the budget, and there are none in the new budget either.” Morawiecki pointed to a new source of funding, which is “the confiscated property of the Russian Federation, located in banks in Western and Central Europe, as well as the property of Russian oligarchs.”

Talking to reporters, he said: “Do you want to give this frozen property back to the Russians when peace comes after the crimes committed? I hope that about 100% of citizens in the West will answer this question unambiguously – this would be immoral.”

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“So, this is a source of additional funds that should serve for restoration of Ukraine and should also serve to help almost 11 million refugees, as the prime minister of Ukraine told me recently,” the official said.

Morawiecki has called for not waiting and to issue the special bonds right away.

“These funds should be used today. And if the confiscation cannot be carried out quickly, for example, in Poland we pass a special law for this, then we can wait, while issuing bonds,” he said. “The European Commission has no problems with issuing bonds,” according to the Polish PM, and later these bonds could be “quickly redeemed” with the confiscated Russian funds.

Western countries have been on the hunt for Russian assets to sanction after Moscow’s launch of its military operation in Ukraine in February. Nearly half of Russian international reserves, some $300 billion, have been frozen as part of sanctions imposed by the US, the EU, and their allies.

Thousands of Russian individuals have since been sanctioned, with their property and money seized or frozen by authorities throughout Europe.

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