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Sky News: EU demands ”decisive progress” on frozen Russian assets for Ukraine

The Council of the EU illuminated with the Ukrainian flag on Europe Day in Brussels in 2022. Image by European Union.
Sky News: EU demands ”decisive progress” on frozen Russian assets for Ukraine

European Union leaders will hold technical talks on 17 October on using Russian assets frozen by sanctions to help Ukraine, according to Sky News. 

The meeting will demand “decisive progress”on the issue, which has been halted for months.

Earlier, Belgian PM Alexander De Croo said Brussels would invest €1.7 billion in Ukraine in 2024 sourced from tax revenue generated from frozen Russian assets, as EU and G7 discuss a broader windfall levy on profits from these sanctioned assets. Belgium also plans to ban Russian diamonds from its markets.

The majority of the frozen Russian central bank assets, amounting to over €200 billion, are currently held in Europe, with a significant portion of them managed by Euroclear SA in Belgium. Under Belgian law, these proceeds are subject to a 25% corporate tax.

Belgium commits €1.7 billion for Ukrainian aid from taxed frozen Russian assets

An EU official said that talks on the tax had failed to make progress, in part to due to objections from Belgium, which currently has sole discretion of what to do with tax revenue on Euroclear profits.

An official from Belgium said the country was seeking a G7 solution, adding that an EU-only ban would not be effective. Belgium is an EU country, but not a G7 member.

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