1st funds from frozen Russian assets could reach Ukraine in July – Sinkevicius

  • 2024-03-20
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS - As Brussels plans on Wednesday to propose that EU countries use interest generated from frozen Russian assets to arm Ukraine, Lithuanian EC member Virginijus Sinkevicius says the first funds could reach Kyiv as early as July.

"The decision made today (the EC's planned proposal - BNS) is perhaps overdue, I would have liked to see such a decision earlier, but it has finally been agreed by all 27 countries that it has a chance to be adopted. If member states make a quick decision, the first installment could reach Ukraine as early as July 1," the European commissioner for environment, oceans and fisheries, told Lithuania's public radio LRT on Wednesday, adding that interest generated from frozen Russian assets could reach Ukraine twice a year, subject to a review of depositories.

The EU foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, has said that under the EC's proposal on the use of frozen Russian assets, 90 percent of the funds would be transferred to a fund to cover the cost of acquiring arms for Ukraine. The remaining 10 percent would be transferred to the EU budget and used to increase the capacity of Ukraine's own defense industry.

According to Borrell, the frozen Russian assets could generate around 3 billion euros a year.

Sinkevicius points out that the revenue Ukraine would get from the frozen Russian assets would be additional funds for Kyiv, and would not be used to cover the EU's current obligations.

"The Commission's lawyers are also confident they could defend this decision in international arbitration. It therefore has the potential to be finally confirmed," he added.

The EU froze the Russian Central Bank's assets in the block, worth around 200 billion euros, as punishment after Moscow invaded its neighbor in February 2022.