Sunday, July 21, 2024

Putin’s ally warns EU against ‘stealing’ frozen Russian funds – Times of India

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A key ally of President Vladimir Putin has warned that Russia will seize assets of European Union (EU) member states it considers unfriendly if the EU decides to “steal” frozen Russian funds to support Ukraine’s post-war recovery.

This statement came in response to remarks made by Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission, who indicated that the EU was exploring a proposal to utilize profits from frozen Russian state assets for the reconstruction of Ukraine.

Vyacheslav Volodin, the Chairman of the State Duma, the lower house of Russia’s parliament, declared that if the EU took actions against Russian assets, particularly those located in Belgium, Moscow would respond in a manner that would impose higher costs on the EU.

“A number of European politicians, led by the president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, have once again started talking about stealing our country’s frozen funds in order to continue the militarisation of Kyiv,” Volodin, a close Putin ally, said in a statement on the Telegram messaging app.

“Such a decision would require a symmetrical response from the Russian Federation. In that case, far more assets belonging to unfriendly countries will be confiscated than our frozen funds in Europe,” he said.

On Friday, von der Leyen disclosed that the total value of frozen Russian sovereign assets amounted to 211 billion euros ($223.15 billion). She also emphasized the EU’s determination to hold Russia accountable for contributing to Ukraine’s reconstruction efforts.

Volodin suggested that EU politicians were contemplating this move out of self-interest, aiming to secure their positions and due to the financial difficulties they had caused in their respective countries.

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