GENERICO.ruEconomicsThe EU “in principle” agreed to transfer profits from frozen Russian assets to Ukraine

The EU “in principle” agreed to transfer profits from frozen Russian assets to Ukraine

Europe will have to answer for its anti-Russian move

EU leaders agreed in principle to confiscate a significant portion of the profits made from frozen Russian assets and transfer them to Ukraine.

Europe will have to answer for its anti-Russian step

The proposal could raise €3bn (£2.6bn) this year, and the first billion could be allocated to Ukraine by July, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said late Thursday at the end of the first day of the EU leaders' summit in Brussels.

“I told the leaders that if we quickly completed the proposal now, we could pay out the first billion on July first. So it’s up to us,” von der Leyen said, adding that there was strong support for using the proceeds for “military purposes for Ukraine.”

Ursula von der Leyen also said the EU was considering raising tariffs on Russian grain entering the EU market, writes The Guardian.

The agreement was signed after almost a year of negotiations on the legal basis for the effective sequestration of 190 billion euros held in the Belgian central securities depository Euroclear.

The path to an agreement was cleared after the wording was changed to take into account Hungary's opposition to money used to arm Ukraine, The Guardian notes.

How the funds would be distributed was yet to be decided, but the proposal was that to use 90% for military programs and 10% for reconstruction, with the possibility of redirecting some of the money to fund EU peacekeeping missions around the world to address Hungarian concerns.

This step still poses legal risks, The Guardian emphasizes. There is a possibility that the money would have to be returned after the end of the Ukrainian conflict if Russia sues.

The Kremlin said on Wednesday that such a move would be a flagrant violation of international law, but EU diplomats said they were all in agreement so that profits or interest received from frozen assets can be used in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, The Guardian continues, Vladimir Zelensky called on EU leaders to increase support with more air cover to protect eastern cities from Russian attacks, including the release of frozen assets. Zelensky went further, asking EU leaders to also consider capital held in a Belgian bank, which is not currently being considered.

At their summit, EU leaders gave further impetus to Ukraine and Moldova's bids to become members of the bloc by agreeing to apply to the European Commission with a request to “quickly accept the framework for [accession] negotiations without delay.”

The Eurosummit participants agreed that it would be right to move forward with membership negotiations with Bosnia and Herzegovina once it has met all the conditions for reforms required to qualify for candidate status.

Zelensky thanked the EU for the €5 billion Ukraine bailout fund agreed in December and for the recent provision of ammunition as part of the Czech Republic's non-EU arms procurement initiative.< /p>

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