Advertisement

Updated February 28th, 2024 at 18:05 IST

Ursula von der Leyen Proposes Using Frozen Russian Assets to Arm Ukraine

Her suggestion comes as European leaders grapple with how best to utilize the approximately €300 billion in Russian sovereign assets that were frozen.

Reported by: Sagar Kar
.
Russia's President Vladimir Putin, Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen. | Image:AP
Advertisement

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has proposed utilizing windfall profits from frozen Russian assets to procure military equipment for Ukraine, as discussions among European allies intensify regarding continued support for the war-torn country.

Von der Leyen's suggestion comes as European leaders grapple with how best to utilize the approximately €300 billion in Russian sovereign assets that were frozen by G7 allies in response to Moscow's full-scale invasion of Ukraine two years ago. The proposal aims to address the lack of consensus over the legality and appropriate use of these funds.

Advertisement

What exactly did von der Leyen say?

"It is time to start a conversation about using the windfall profits of frozen Russian assets to jointly purchase military equipment for Ukraine," von der Leyen stated during a speech to EU lawmakers on Wednesday. She emphasized that such action would serve as a strong symbol and contribute to enhancing the safety of Ukraine and all of Europe.

Advertisement

Here is what you need to know

This marks the first instance where the EU has tied the utilization of frozen Russian assets to potential weapons procurement for Ukraine, highlighting growing tensions among Western allies regarding how best to support Ukraine. French President Emmanuel Macron's recent suggestion that deploying Western troops to Ukraine could not be ruled out has sparked discussions, with Berlin urging Paris to instead "supply more weapons" to Kyiv.

Advertisement

A senior EU diplomat expressed broad support for von der Leyen's proposal, noting that while member states had previously focused on using the frozen assets for reconstruction efforts, the urgency of providing weapons to Ukraine now takes precedence. "Weapons are the urgent issue, so that makes the most sense," the diplomat stated, as per a report from the Financial Times.

Von der Leyen's proposal reflects the escalating concerns over Russia's aggression and the pressing need to bolster Ukraine's defense capabilities amid ongoing conflict in the region. As discussions continue among European allies, the utilization of frozen Russian assets to arm Ukraine emerges as a potential strategy to strengthen its defense and deter further aggression.

Advertisement

Published February 28th, 2024 at 18:01 IST

Your Voice. Now Direct.

Send us your views, we’ll publish them. This section is moderated.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Whatsapp logo