Estonian formin: Solution being completed for using Russian assets to support Ukraine

  • 2023-06-15
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs Margus Tsahkna said at the government's press conference on Thursday that the government has approved the principles for the use of frozen Russian assets to support Ukraine.

The foreign minister said that Estonia is the first European country to have developed such a legal solution. A similar measure has been implemented, for example, in Canada.

"The European Union is also working on finding a legal solution, but we have already developed one that enables us to utilize the frozen assets of Russia as the aggressor and use them as compensation to support the reconstruction of Ukraine," Tsahkna said.

"This is not just an Estonian domestic matter, but it is a solution that is likely to pave the way globally for how to utilize frozen Russian assets for the reconstruction of Ukraine," he added.

Under international law, damages caused unlawfully must be compensated, and Russia has flagrantly violated the UN Charter and the prohibition of the use of force in interstate relations. If Russia fails to compensate for the damages caused, using frozen assets as a "prepayment" would be an option. The utilization of frozen assets would require an international agreement with Ukraine or an international compensation mechanism to keep track of damages and compensations. As a first step, a register of war damages in Ukraine is being established at the Council of Europe.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in cooperation with the Ministry of Justice, has prepared a draft amendment to the International Sanctions Act, which will embark on a round of approvals in the near future. The ministry is set to present the draft amendment to the government soon.