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UK’s Sunak calls for bolder seizure of frozen Russian assets, two years into war

The G7 countries have access to nearly $300 billion of Russian reserves frozen two years ago. However, they have not used them to pay for Ukraine’s aid yet.
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. Photo from @Rishi Sunak twitter
UK’s Sunak calls for bolder seizure of frozen Russian assets, two years into war

As the war in Ukraine reaches its second anniversary, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has urged Western allies to take bolder action in confiscating frozen Russian assets and using them to support Ukraine’s defense, Reuters reported.

Sunak stated that the West should make better use of the “hundreds of billions of frozen Russian assets” currently held by EU countries, the US, Japan, Canada, and others. These reserves, totaling around $300 billion, were frozen in 2022 after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine began.

Sunak’s call comes as Ukrainian forces are gearing up for expected Russian spring offensives and require additional supplies of long-range weapons, drones, ammunition, and other equipment.

The prime minister praised the United States as Ukraine’s top financial and military backer over the past two years. “We should never underestimate what America has done for Ukraine and for Euro-Atlantic security,” he said, urging continued US assistance.

On 24th February, the UK announced another £245 million ($311 million) in aid for Ukrainian artillery rounds and munitions. Last month, the British government also revealed that it has been collaborating with the US on potentially confiscating Russian assets.

As Russia’s invasion enters a third year, Sunak’s call demonstrates the UK’s intent to increase economic penalties on Moscow and provide sustained backing for Ukraine’s defense. Loopholes in sanctions, the EU and UK still buying fuel refined from Russian oil, as well as failure to confiscate and use Russian frozen assets, allow Russia to continue its war and mobilize more troops despite the high rate of losses.

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