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Western property could be seized – Moscow

Russia retains a “wide arsenal of countermeasures” in the event that its assets are seized in the West, the Foreign Ministry has warned


Russia has a “wide arsenal” of political and economic countermeasures to respond to the potential confiscation of its sovereign assets, including a tit-for-tat seizure of Western property in Russia, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has said.

The leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) nations agreed at last week’s summit in Apulia, Italy, to use interest from frozen Russian assets to secure a $50 billion loan for Kiev.

Zakharova pointed out that Russia has a “significant” amount of Western funds and property under its jurisdiction. 

“All of it may be subject to Russian retaliatory policy and retaliatory actions. The arsenal of political and economic countermeasures is wide,” she told reporters at a regular press briefing on Wednesday.

Russia, however, will not disclose the nature of the retaliatory actions, Zakharova added.

G7 countries have approved in principle a US plan to provide Ukraine with a $50 billion loan issued against frozen Russian assets, to help Kiev buy weapons and rebuild damaged infrastructure.

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The idea is to use nearly $300 billion in Russian sovereign funds frozen in the West in the wake of the Ukraine conflict in 2022, as the basis for the loan. G7 countries would use profits from the assets to cover the debt interest.

Most of the frozen assets are being held in the EU. US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said recently that the profits earned from the immobilized Russian assets amounts to around $3-$5 billion per year.

The G7 intends to disburse the funds through multiple channels, directing them to Ukraine’s military, general budget, and reconstruction needs.

Disagreements, however, remain among the US and its allies as to who will carry the loan risks if Western governments lose control over the Russian assets.

Moscow has repeatedly said it will treat any attempt to tap into them as theft, and will retaliate.

June 20, 2024 at 03:16PM

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