In a statement issued this Thursday, the European spokesperson for Justice, Christian Wigand, announced that the European Commission (EC) is “prepared” to present a proposal related to the use of frozen Russian public assets in order to invest in the reconstruction of Ukraine. This important topic will be addressed again at a meeting scheduled for the end of September.
Wigand emphasized the need to distinguish between public and private Russian assets, as they are subject to different regulatory frameworks. For example, frozen or seized private assets can only be confiscated in the event of a crime and after the person responsible has been judicially convicted.
Regarding public assets, the spokesperson reported that more than 200 billion euros in assets have been frozen in the European Union, coming from the Russian Central Bank. Furthermore, he noted that the EC has already proposed the criminalization of attempts to evade sanctions in relation to private assets, with the aim of facilitating the confiscation of assets. This initiative is currently being negotiated between the European institutions and its conclusion is expected in the near future.
Wigand stressed that the EC is ready to present a “legal proposal” in relation to public assets, taking into account the discussions held with Member States.
The European Union’s efforts in this area are carried out mainly through meetings with the delegations of the 27 member states, in close collaboration with a specialized working group on freezing and confiscation, under the leadership of the European Commission.
In this context, it was reported that a meeting on this matter was held last week, and that a new meeting is scheduled for September 27.
(Referential image source: Guillaume Périgois, Unsplash)