By our economics editors
Since the war in Ukraine, more than 200 billion euros in Russian assets have been frozen in the European Union. Europe wants to release that money for the reconstruction of Ukraine.
The vast majority of the money comes from the Russian central bank. ‘Only’ 24 billion comes from Russian individuals and fifteen hundred companies. The fact that this is only a small part is because the EU can only freeze money if criminal offenses, such as evading sanctions, have been proven.
The EU is now investigating whether the frozen assets can be used to help Ukraine. But that cannot and should not be done legally. The member states may therefore want to invest the loosened money in order to donate the proceeds to Ukraine.
During the G7 summit in Japan last week, European government leaders again said that Russia should pay for the damage it is causing in Ukraine.