Borrell Proposes Directing 90% of Proceeds from Russian Assets to Weapons for Ukraine

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EU foreign policy Chief Josep Borrell said on Tuesday he would propose that the EU uses 90 per cent of the proceeds from Russian assets frozen in Europe to buy weapons for Ukraine through the European Peace Facility. The EU top diplomat told reporters in Brussels, he would propose that the remaining 10 per cent be transferred to the EU budget to strengthen the Ukrainian defense industry’s capacity. He said he would present the proposal to EU member states on Wednesday, ahead of the EU leaders’ summit on Thursday and Friday. The EU senior official said last week that Russian assets frozen in the European Union could generate between €15bn and €20bn in after-tax profits by 2027, depending on global interest rates. About 70 per cent of all Russian assets immobilized in the West are held at the Belgian central securities depository Euroclear, which has the equivalent of €190 billion in various Russian central bank securities and cash. Borrell emphasized that the proposal was to use the profits from assets held in Europe rather than the assets themselves. According to him, this could generate around €3bn annually. “The concrete proposal will be presented tomorrow. The member states have to agree to it,” he said. Earlier, the Bloomberg news agency reported that the EU had prepared the legislative proposal under which Ukraine would start receiving revenues from frozen Russian sovereign assets as early as in July. Previously, Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said that it was better to direct the frozen Russian money in the EU to Ukraine’s defense rather than to its reconstruction.