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Controversy over interest on confiscated Russian assets: Banks fear retaliation from Russia

Controversy over interest on confiscated Russian assets: Banks fear retaliation from Russia

According to EU leaders, the official owner of most of the seized Russian assets will remain Russia, however, income from the assets could be used to support Ukraine within a few months.

However, some banks fear that Russia may later hold them accountable for their involvement in transferring money to Ukraine, and that the EU plan could extend to assets held in the accounts of sanctioned individuals and companies, although such an extension has not been proposed by the EU. after. European Union. .

The news agency's sources claimed that the banks share their concerns with decision-makers in Britain and the eurozone, and also drew attention to the expected lawsuits in the event of easing or lifting of sanctions imposed on Russia.

Russia says any attempt to seize its assets and interests amounts to “banditry” that will lead to decades-long legal proceedings against everyone involved. Moscow has repeatedly said it will retaliate if its assets or income are confiscated.

Euroclear holds the equivalent of €190 billion in securities and cash of the Russian Central Bank. Western banks also hold assets worth billions of euros, pounds sterling and dollars owned by sanctioned companies and individuals. The Belgium-based Central Securities Depository, which counts some of the world's largest banks among shareholders, could temporarily hold 10% of profits on frozen Russian assets in preparation for litigation.

Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said last year that more than 3.5 million Russians had frozen their assets abroad, with a total value of about 1.5 trillion rubles.

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According to the European Union plan, about 90% of the confiscated funds will be used to purchase weapons for Ukraine, while the remaining amount will be used for restoration and reconstruction.

Cover image source: Getty Images

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