Thursday, 18 April, 2024


Kremlin warns West of ‘serious costs’ if assets seized

The US will face serious consequences if it confiscates frozen Russian assets and sends them to Ukraine, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov warned on Wednesday.

The US House Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday approved a draft law dubbed the ‘REPO for Ukrainians Act’, which would authorize the president to confiscate frozen Russian assets in American jurisdiction, with the exception of diplomatic property. The secretary of state would then be able to use the money to fund humanitarian aid and reconstruction efforts by Ukraine.

Speaking to journalists, Peskov described any such step as “illegal” and “contrary to all possible rules.” He added that it would “result in serious court and judicial costs for those who would take such decisions and implement them.”

Russian retaliation “will likely not be tit-for-tat, but the one that serves our interests in the best way,” the Kremlin spokesman stated, noting that the US move “would, of course, be contested, and contested indefinitely by our country.”

The bill, which was approved by 40 members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, presents the expropriation as an enforcement of Russia’s obligations to compensate damage suffered by Ukraine.

“The confiscation and repurposing of Russian sovereign assets by the United States is in the vital national security interests of the United States,” the document claimed.

Under the proposal, Russian assets could also be used to support “the welfare of the people of Ukraine.” The draft law does not specify what kind of spending would qualify.

The US and its allies have frozen an estimated $300 billion worth of Russian sovereign assets as part of their campaign to punish Moscow. There have been numerous calls to confiscate the money and donate it to Kiev, although some Western officials have cautioned that such a move would be illegal. The sponsors of the US bill claim otherwise.READ MORE: Ukraine to fund defense with seized Russian assets – Zelensky

Russia has branded the freezing of its assets as an act of theft and has argued that it undermines Western global influence.

“The fact that they froze our foreign exchange reserves – well, we’ve earned twice as much already. It’s not about this $300 billion, it’s about the erosion of trust in those who behave that way,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said in September.

Nations that value their sovereignty and have concerns over possible Western reprisals are increasingly avoiding Western-controlled financial instruments and mechanisms, according to the Russian leadership.

Credit: RT News


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