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Confiscating Russian assets would set ‘dangerous precedent’ – Kremlin

The US will shoot itself in the foot if a House-approved bill is implemented, Moscow has warned

The US will hurt its own economy, as well as the global financial system, if it follows through on its threat to expropriate frozen Russian assets and give them to Ukraine, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday.

Washington has long advocated for seizing Russian funds held in Western jurisdictions. The money would then be handed over to Kiev for its war effort against Russia. A new push came on Saturday, after the US House approved a bill authorizing the confiscation of Russian money. If the White House follows through, it will set “a dangerous precedent,” Peskov said.

”This would be nothing short of a breakdown of all foundations of the [global] economic system,” he told journalists, reiterating Moscow’s position. “In no way could that be considered a lawful action.”

The US will face retaliation by Russia as well as legal challenges, Peskov said, which “will cause serious damage to the economic interests of the US,” since “many nations and many investors would certainly think ten times before putting their money into the American economy or parking assets there.”

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A view of the US Capitol.
‘No consensus’ in West on seizing Russian assets – WaPo

Some senior Western officials share Moscow’s view on the risks of the proposal, the spokesman added, citing remarks by European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde, who warned earlier this month that giving Russian assets to Kiev would amount to “a violation of the legal international order.”

The US and its allies have frozen around $300 billion worth of Russian assets. Western officials have argued that Moscow would have to willingly compensate Kiev for damage caused during its military operation before the money could be released. But EU nations, which are holding the lion’s share of the frozen funds, are concerned that just spending the money on Ukraine’s needs as suggested by Washington would destabilize the euro, according to media reports.

The bill which US lawmakers approved last weekend authorized the US president to confiscate Russian funds held in American banks and hand them over to Kiev. US Senator Rand Paul, who is skeptical of the proposal, warned earlier this year that the move would be “an act of economic war.”

READ MORE: ECB fires back at plans to seize Russian assets

Moscow perceives the Ukraine conflict as part of a larger US-led proxy war aimed at containing Russia. The bill is part of a set of legislative initiatives, which includes $60 billion in aid for Kiev.

April 22, 2024 at 05:48PM

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