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Chairs of foreign and European affairs committees and members of parliament from 19 countries and the European Parliament made a joint statement urging the G7 countries to forget half-measures and confiscate all €300bn in frozen Russian central bank assets.

The joint statement evokes the expected decision by the G7 leaders (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, UK, and US) at their next meeting on whether — and how — to seize the nearly €300bn in Russian state assets frozen in western countries since February 2022. “As chairs and parliamentarians of our respective parliamentary foreign and European affairs committees, we collectively urge G7 leaders to explore all legal avenues to support Ukraine, starting with the creation of multilateral or bilateral loan facilities backed by the windfall profits generated by the frozen Russian assets,” they write.

However, they see this as only the first step. “The ultimate objective must be to fully confiscate all Russian assets and transfer them to Ukraine, ensuring that this process adheres to international law. Russia’s war of aggression has already done almost €500bn in damage to Ukraine’s infrastructure — and that amount grows daily,” write the parliamentarians, referring to the fact that at least €3bn a month in outside financial assistance is required just to prevent a collapse of Ukraine’s economy. “Against numbers like these, confiscating €3bn in annual windfall profits on Russia’s frozen assets simply is not a sufficient response to the challenge Russia has issued to Ukraine and its friends in the democratic world.”

The parliamentarians say in their joint statement that a multilateral or bilateral loan facility backed by windfall profits generated by the frozen Russian assets is estimated to only provide around €40bn-€50bn to Ukraine. “We see these proposals as a first step — not an alternative — to confiscating the nearly €300bn,” they state.

The parliamentarians affirm the need to step up our assistance to help Ukraine win this war — both for Ukraine’s democratic European future and for our own security. “To do that, we need to be prepared to take big, bold decisions proportionate to the historical significance of our times. Our decision here will set a precedent either way. If we confiscate the entire €300bn in accordance with international law, we affirm the legal right to take countermeasures when a state like Russia grossly violates international law with its aggression,” the statement reads.

They see confiscating the full amount as sending a signal of our resolve to Vladimir Putin and other authoritarians who may seek to attack their neighbours that such aggression has severe financial consequences. “Leading economists who support full confiscation point out that most market impacts were priced in at the time these assets were originally frozen two years ago — and that seizure in response to aggression would be too rare an occurrence to have major currency impacts. To do this, we urge the G7 to dispense with half-measures and to take the only step that will have the required impact — confiscation of all €300bn in frozen Russian central bank assets,” the parliamentarians write.

The joint statement was signed by chairs of committees and members of parliaments from the European Parliament and the parliaments of Belgium, Bulgaria, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Ireland, Italy, France, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Moldova, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and United States. The Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu Marko Mihkelson signed the statement on behalf of Estonia.

Riigikogu Press Service
Karin Kangro
+372 631 6356, +372 520 0323
[email protected]
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