VILNIUS - The Baltic and Polish leaders have called for using around 300 billion euros' worth of the Russian Central Bank's reserves frozen by EU member states for rebuilding Ukraine.
In a joint letter to the bloc's leaders, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda and Prime Ministers Kaja Kallas of Estonia, Krisjanis Karins of Latvia and Mateusz Morawiecki of Poland underlined "Russia's accountability under international law for war atrocities and serious crimes, as well as the need to compensate for the damage caused by Russia's unprovoked and unjustified military aggression in Ukraine", the Lithuanian leader's office said in a press release.
"At the EU-Ukraine Summit, we pledged to Ukraine that the EU will speed up its work towards using Russia's frozen public and private assets to rebuild Ukraine in accordance with EU and international law. To keep our promise to Ukraine, we have not only to reiterate our commitment, but to accelerate our work in the Council already now," the letter reads.
In their letter to European Council President Charles Michel, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson of Sweden, which holds the EU's rotating presidency, the Baltic and Polish leaders "point out that all the assets should be used to help Ukrainians suffering from the war and to rebuild their country", according to the press release.
The letter "stresses that the EU should lead global efforts to establish an international compensation mechanism for Ukraine and its reconstruction, and calls on the Swedish Presidency to accelerate work on this issue in the EU Council", it said.
"The frozen assets have to be used to rebuild Ukraine as soon as possible; we cannot wait for the war to end and a peace agreement to be signed," the letter reads.