Seizing Russian Central Bank Assets

Link – an oped. Not written in stone but clearly this idea is being tossed around

A solution to Ukraine’s short- and long-term problems could be the seizure of Russian central bank assets. Apart from the obvious major legal challenges relating to the respective national legislations, there are political, tactical, and moral challenges to be addressed. These would delay any use of seized funds.

At the same time, Ukrainian stability is of utmost importance, and the most effective way to secure the country’s recovery is to use Russia’s central bank assets to back Ukraine’s future financial stability. Any seizure could also be partial, thereby limiting the negative impacts of such a measure.

Political support for seizing Russian assets exists. The president of the European Council, Charles Michel, has expressed support for confiscating the assets and using them to rebuild Ukraine in May this year, as has German Finance Minister Christian Lindner. The G7 also expressed its commitment.

Europe and the US should not repeat their mistakes of dragging their feet through a lack of commitment and engagement with Ukraine. The West has several times committed to supporting Ukraine, knowing it will be a huge task.

A successful Ukraine will not only yield benefits to Ukrainians but can be a pathway for a modern Russia in the future. Seizing Russian bank assets is an extreme move, but so is the war itself. Action must be taken in this direction without delay.

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