Russia is preparing to fight any attempts by the US or Europe to seize its $300 billion in frozen central bank assets in favor of Ukraine, according to Bloomberg.
Russian central bank assets in the West were frozen in response to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022. Discussions over the transfer of frozen Russian assets to Ukraine as reparations for damage caused by the Russian armed aggression have intensified amid political divisions in the US that prevent Congress from approving $61 billion in aid to Ukraine in 2024.
The seizure of frozen Russian assets is aimed at putting pressure on Russia after its invasion of Ukraine in 2022 and supporting the government in Kyiv, according to Bloomberg. The White House is backing a bill that would allow it to seize some Russian assets.
According to Bloomberg, the US plans to coordinate this move with G7 allies, especially in Europe, where about two-thirds of frozen Russian funds are held and where support for seizures has been lukewarm.
Russia has hired international law firms and commissioned expert views to defend its interests in court, Bloomberg reported, referring to people familiar with the matter. Russia’s Central Bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina called the potential freeze “a very negative signal for all central banks,” Bloomberg reported.
The Kremlin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, has denounced the freeze as a violation of the basic principles of reserve security, saying that there are no legitimate grounds for seizure and that the litigation could last for decades, Bloomberg reported.
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