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Austrian chancellor opposes using profits from frozen Russian assets to finance weapons for Ukraine

“For us neutrals it must be ensured that money, for which we give our approval, is not spent on weapons and ammunition,” said the Austrian Chancellor.
Chancellor of Austria Karl Nehammer
Chancellor of Austria Karl Nehammer during his visit in Kyiv on 9 April 2022. Credit: Ukraine’s Presidential Office
Austrian chancellor opposes using profits from frozen Russian assets to finance weapons for Ukraine

Speaking at a press conference before the EU leaders’ summit, Chancellor of Austria Karl Nehammer has expressed opposition to the European Commission’s proposal to allocate profits from frozen Russian assets in the EU for military aid to Ukraine.

This comes after the European Commission announced plans to send up to €3 billion per year to Ukraine using profits from frozen Russian assets.

Nehammer stated that Vienna supports using these funds for Ukraine’s reconstruction but opposes their use for military assistance.

“For us neutrals it must be ensured that money, for which we give our approval, is not spent on weapons and ammunition,” said the Austrian Chancellor.

Meanwhile, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo supported the idea of using revenues from Russian assets for military aid to Ukraine, Reuters reported.

“These (proceeds) should first of all be used to buy those weapons and ammunition that Ukraine needs to defend itself,” Scholz said.

According to the European Commission’s proposal, 90% of the profit from immobilized sovereign assets of the Russian Federation is intended to be directed through the European Peace Facility for the purchase of weapons for Ukraine. The remainder will be used for recovery and reconstruction.

While the plans still require agreement from EU member states meeting in the Council, officials now hope first payments could take place as soon as July.

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