Experts of the International Center for Ukrainian Victory, Anticorruption Action Centre, and the Center for Economic Strategy prepared an analytical note on the confiscation of $300 billion of russian sovereign assets, which were frozen in Western countries in the first days of a full-scale invasion. This note was prepared as a part of the #MakeRussiaPay public campaign held by the civil society organizations International Center for Ukrainian Victory, Anti-corruption Action Center, and National Interests Advocacy Network ANTS. The document refutes the main arguments of opponents of the full confiscation of russian frozen assets in favor of Ukraine.
Despite more than a year and a half of full-scale russian aggression against Ukraine, Western politicians are currently cautious about confiscating russian assets. Their arguments mainly emphasize legal, economic, and political counterarguments. Among them, in particular, the fact that the russian Central Bank’s assets are protected by sovereign immunity, the confiscation will destroy Western financial systems, and the trust of third-world countries in the West will fall even more.
This note is focused on answering why confiscation of russian RCB assets is legitimate under international law and compelled by political necessity, based on the collective findings of prominent experts displayed in their studies and reports. Among them, there are works of Larry Summers and Robert Zoellick, Laurence Tribe, Philip Zelikow, Yuliya Ziskina, and others.
“All 20 months of the full-scale war, we have heard from our Western partners that it is impossible to confiscate these 300 billion dollars, but now it is time to talk about the fact that it is not only possible but also necessary. Russia must start paying for what it has done. The confiscation of russia’s assets is long overdue and to make it painless the G7 and EU should move in the coalition without further delays,” comments Olena Halushka, co-founder of the Victory Center and co-author of the analytical note.
“We call on both Ukrainian activists and civil society from other countries to join the campaign to confiscate russian assets. The money of the terrorist country must work for Ukraine. This will be a fair step both for the Ukrainians, who are suffering losses, and for the residents of Western countries, who have been helping to resist russian aggression all these years and a half. Confiscation of assets during the war, as well as reparations after victory, is part of the strategy of victory and de-imperialization of the russian federation, the path to sustainable peace,” adds Hanna Hopko, former Member of the Ukrainian Parliament, and head of the National Interests Advocacy Network ANTS, which is one of the leaders of the #MakeRussiaPay campaign.
It is important to note that russia has inflicted a minimum of $411 billion of documented damages to Ukraine as of the end of the first year of full-scale war and an additional $14 billion for the Kakhovka Dam destruction. The damage from russian aggression is increasing every day, so Ukraine and its partners should think about long-term financing of the Ukrainian defense against the aggressor.
You can read the report at the following link: https://ukrainianvictory.org/wp-content/uploads/ICUV_Confiscation_2-Legal.pdf