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No more excuses: Debunking arguments against seizing Russian state assets for Ukraine

Yuliya Ziskina , Jamison Firestone , Tetyana Nesterchuk

Date: 07/06/2024

This Discussion Paper analyses the arguments against seizing Russian state assets for Ukraine. Indeed, the authors highlight that the immediate rebuilding of critical infrastructure is crucial to keeping Ukraine’s economy running and for its defence, as the country will not be able to rebuild if it no longer exists.

Some of the arguments debunked in this Paper include:

  • Delaying the seizure of Russian state assets until Russia agrees to pay reparations to Ukraine is illogical,
    costly, and harmful to the internationally recognised rights of victims of Russia’s war.

  • Seizing and transferring Russia’s frozen reserves is lawful under international law.

  • There is precedent for seizing and transferring sovereign reserves.

  • The EU’s proposal to seize the profits generated by the frozen assets will not provide sufficient funds to compensate Ukraine and is not a substitute for full confiscation.

With all the arguments debunked, the authors conclude that Russia is already seizing assets from G7 investors and is likely to continue even in the absence of the West seizing Russia’s frozen assets. Furthermore, the companies that continue to operate in Russia make the business decision to do so with full knowledge of the risks. Thus contributing to the Russian war machine with their taxes.

Read the full paper here.
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