It has been claimed by Anders Ahnlid, who is the leader of the EU’s “freeze and seize task force,” that the group will need to be imaginative in order to discover legal measures to expropriate frozen Russian assets for the purpose of using such assets towards the reconstruction of Ukraine.
Ahnlid mentioned that there are not many examples of measures like this serving as a precedent and that the task force is currently working on determining which assets belong to the Russian government and which ones are privately owned. It is far simpler to lawfully confiscate state property, such as Russia’s foreign currency reserves, as opposed to private assets, which are much more difficult to locate and may only be seized in a limited number of circumstances.
The Swiss government has voiced its opposition to the proposal, and the United States Secretary of the Treasury, Janet Yellen, has voiced her doubts, expressing concern that such a measure may put trust in the Western financial system and the currency at risk.
Moscow has on many occasions referred to the freezing of its assets as “theft,” and it has threatened to take retaliatory action in the event that Western governments seek to appropriate monies that are held by Russia.
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