RIGA - At the ECOFIN meeting in Brussels on Tuesday, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Slovakia urged the confiscation of frozen assets belonging to sanctioned Russians to be used for the reconstruction of Ukraine, representatives of the Ministry of Finance (FM) told LETA.
A statement from the four Member States states that active warfare has led to a drastic decline, cessation or destruction of production and agriculture in Ukraine, and a declining tax revenue. The situation is exacerbated by large-scale misappropriation of assets and export goods by Russia, as well as significant infrastructure damage. As a result, the state's ability to ensure the continuous operation of public services and the provision of social services has been reduced to a minimum.
The International Monetary Fund estimates that Ukraine's current account deficit will reach around EUR 14.3 billion by June. Reconstruction of Ukraine after the war will also require significant financial resources, the ministry said.
The ministry said that the EU and its allies have imposed sanctions on Russian authorities, companies and individuals by freezing their assets. In order to go forward with the reconstruction of Ukraine on the principle of "the aggressor must pay", Latvia, together with Lithuania, Estonia and Slovakia, has called on the European Commission to assess the legal possibilities to confiscate the frozen funds and direct them to the reconstruction of Ukraine.
The four Member States also call for the possibility of keeping frozen assets that cannot be confiscated frozen until Russia fully compensates Ukraine for the damage and suffering caused by the war.
According to the Ministry, it is important that such activities take place in close cooperation with international partners.