July 15, 2024

Finland stands behind the use of proceeds from frozen Russian assets to aid Ukraine, Finland’s Foreign Trade and Development Minister Ville Tavio stated in an interview with Ukrainian state news agency Ukrinform on Nov. 12.

“Finding a legal framework to repurpose these assets, in collaboration with partner countries, is essential,” Tavio explained.

Read also: EU finds legal way to use seized Russian central bank assets — media reports

The minister also announced that Ukraine is Finland’s largest development partner and that Finland has provided substantial support to Ukraine, totaling EUR 2.1 billion ($2.25 billion) since the onset of Russia’s full-scale invasion. Out of this sum, EUR 1.4 billion ($1.5 billion) were specifically allocated for defense.

He added that Finland is “firmly determined” to continue supporting Ukraine “for as long as it takes.”

Read also: Belgium to set up $1.8 billion relief fund for Ukraine financed by frozen Russian wealth

Meanwhile, The House Foreign Affairs Committee in the U.S. Congress has approved a bill to transfer frozen Russian assets to help Ukraine, U.S. state-owned news agency Voice of America reported on Nov. 8.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the United States is considering legal options, together with the European Union, to redirect $300 billion in Russian assets to Ukraine’s economic reconstruction and other needs.

In the EU, key EU countries – including France, Germany, Italy, and Belgium – told the European Commission during a closed-door meeting on Nov. 8 that they support a gradual approach to the use of proceeds from Russian funds for the benefit of Ukraine.

In addition, the European Council has developed a plan to temporarily leverage at least EUR 33.8 billion ($36 billion) of Russian central bank assets to help pay for the reconstruction of Ukraine, the Bloomberg news agency reported on Jan. 26. However, according to Bloomberg, the EU has assessed that it cannot legally confiscate fully frozen Russian assets and is instead focusing on the temporary use of these assets.

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander de Croo announced plans to create a special fund to support Ukraine worth EUR 1.7 euros ($1.8 billion) during a joint conference with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Oct. 11.

Read also: Russia calls G7 decision to use Russian assets a ‘self-inflicted gunshot’ and threatens retaliation

The money for this fund will be sourced from frozen Russian assets within the country. Zelensky declared that Belgium would be the first country to employ frozen Russian assets to provide support to Ukraine.

Ukraine itself has seized 28.3 billion hryvnias ($784 million) in confiscated assets from Russian citizens and collaborators since Feb. 24, 2022.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine

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