EU working on proposal for frozen Russian assets – von der Leyen

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission is working on a proposal to pool some of the profits derived from frozen Russian state assets to help Ukraine and its post-war reconstruction, the EU executive’s president Ursula von der Leyen said on Friday.

Von der Leyen told a news conference after an EU leaders summit that the value of frozen Russian sovereign assets was 211 billion euros ($223.15 billion) today and recalled that the bloc had decided that Russia must pay for Ukraine’s reconstruction.

The European Union froze Russian sovereign assets in March 2022, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in the previous month.

Von der Leyen said that finance ministers had made good progress on some basic principles during the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in Marrakesh earlier this month.

“So the next step would be then an actual proposal,” she said, adding the initial focus would be on windfall profits.

“We will present a proposal to find a way how to use the proceeds from those assets that are currently benefiting a limited number of financial institutions in the European Union,” she said, although did not comment on when a proposal would come.that windfall profits from frozen Russian assetsBelgium said in June that windfall profits from frozen Russian assets there could provide 3 billion euros a year to rebuild Ukraine. A large portion of the assets are in Belgium.

The United States and Britain have signalled support for an EU idea of diverting interest earnings from assets, although there are legal complexities to resolve before any money can be seized.

($1 = 0.9455 euros)

(Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Tomasz Janowski)