Estonian formin: G7’s decision to use interests of frozen assets an important step forward

  • 2024-06-14
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – The decision of the group of leading industrial nations, or G7, on Thursday to use interests earned from frozen Russian assets for the benefit of Ukraine is an important step forward but the goal must be to use the bulk of the internationally frozen assets, Estonian Foreign Minister Margus Tsahkna said.

"With its aggression, Russia has caused damage to Ukraine amounting to more than 400 billion euros now," the foreign minister said, adding that the decision by the G7 states on Thursday to grant a loan of nearly 50 billion euros to Ukraine by using profits earned from frozen Russian assets is worthy of recognition.

"The decision of the G7 means that Russia’s assets remain frozen until Russia has compensated the damage caused to Ukraine and it is a painful message to Putin and anyone who has hoped for an imminent return to pre-war reality," Tsahkna said. "It is a fundamental breakthrough that Estonia has been spearheading for more than a year."

However, the foreign minister said work must continue on using the main part of the internationally frozen assets. This way, nearly 300 billion euros could be used to assist Ukraine. 

"I also emphasized the need to use the frozen assets yesterday in a joint letter sent with my Baltic colleagues to the G7 states and this idea is also supported by the lawmakers of many countries," the minister said. 

"We must send a clear message that aggression does not pay and those who cause war damage must compensate the destruction," Tsahkna said.

Estonia is leading the way on this issue, as a recently adopted law creates a legal basis for using the frozen assets of individuals and companies that contributed to Russia’s aggression as advance payment for the damage Russia has caused to Ukraine.