EU Poised To Seize Russian Profits, Greek Envoy Says

EU poised to seize Russian profits, Greek envoy says

Washington, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 27th Feb, 2024) The European Union is expected to move toward seizing Russian profits generated in the bloc, a key step to backing Ukraine that stops short of calls to confiscate assets outright, a Greek envoy told AFP on Monday.

Britain and the United States have led calls for the takeover of billions of Dollars in frozen Russian banking and other assets, meeting reluctance from European partners who fear that such a step will send other countries racing to pull money out of the West.

Spiros Lampridis, Greece's special national envoy for Ukraine, said the Europeans were coming to consensus on a more "subtle" approach of seizing profits from Russian investments and assets, either public or private, to set up a fund for Ukraine.

The Europeans will tell Russia "I'm not going to allow you to make profits on the capital you have accumulated on my soil, so the profits of that can be confiscated," Lampridis told AFP on a visit to Washington.

"We're about to do it. I think it's a question of months," he said, adding that the European Commission was working out legal and practical implementation.

Compared with an estimated 500 billion Euros ($540 billion) -- or likely much more -- needed for Ukraine's reconstruction, he estimated that the move would generate 50 to 60 billion euros.

"It's a trifle, but still, really, it's at least a move to show them -- look what you have done," he said of Russia.

"You cannot replace the lives that you have destroyed," he said, "but at least you can contribute in rebuilding what you destroyed."

Lampridis said that the more "brutal" approach of seizing Russian assets was "totally illegal" under international law.

"Practically, well, there are lots of assets of Western companies or countries in Russia itself, so you can imagine what the next step will be," he said.

On seizing profits, "of course, the Russians will react to that as well," he said.

"But even if they take us to the international courts, I think we're going to win."