Putin and his cronies should pay for the reconstruction of Ukraine

Billions are needed to rebuild the war-ravaged country. The funds must come from those responsible for its destruction not Western taxpayers.

. 5 July 2022

Russia’s claim to have annexed the entirety of Luhansk province in eastern Ukraine might conceivably encourage Moscow to bank its expensively-won gains and sue for peace. Volodomyr Zelensky is adamant that no territory will be conceded and his country’s forces are regrouping for a counter-offensive once Western arms arrive in greater quantities. But he might have no option other than to accept terms or to ask Ukrainians to dig in for a war lasting years.

The stated policy of Nato is to help Ukraine win but in the event of an early end to this conflict, or even a protracted stalemate, the focus will turn to rebuilding Ukraine. A conference of foreign ministers in Lugano, Switzerland, is considering how to aid this recovery through what is being likened to the Marshall Plan which helped rebuild Europe after the Second World War.

It is estimated that more than 120,000 homes have been destroyed so far in Ukraine, along with factories and other key buildings and installations. A recovery programme is likely to cost billions, so who will pay? Western taxpayers will balk at the idea that they should stump up to repair the damage while at the same time continuing to buy, at inflated prices, the oil and gas that has sustained the Russian campaign.

The obvious source of funds are the Russian assets currently frozen by sanctions. Under the Economic Crime Act the UK can suspend these for 56 days and roll this over for a further 56 days. The owner cannot benefit from the asset in any way but it is not confiscated.

Taking the money, the yachts, houses and art collections would be a big step and Liz Truss has said that this is being considered. “I certainly agree with the concept,” she told MPs recently. “We just need to get the specifics right.”

The Foreign Secretary, who has announced that the next Ukraine reconstruction conference will be held in the UK, said legislation may be needed, as it certainly will if years of legal challenges are to be forestalled. The funds seized could be supplied either to individuals in the form of reparations or to the Ukrainian state, though there would need to be safeguards against corruption.

Canada has recently passed a law giving its government the right to confiscate and sell seized Russian assets. If anyone is going to bear the cost of rebuilding Ukraine it should be Russia and the oligarchs who have sustained and supported Vladimir Putin’s aggression.

3 comments

  1. It’s not only righteous and essential to confiscate ALL assets from mafia land and its wealthy supporters and officials, and to use them to rebuild Ukraine, it is common sense. Let us hope that every country that harbors ruskie assets will follow Canada’s lead.

    Liked by 3 people

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