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Germany has cooled Ukraine's hopes of receiving frozen Russian funds

16-5-2022 |

German Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock chilled Ukraine's hopes for a quick transfer of frozen Russian state funds.

"Access to frozen money legally (...) is not that easy," she was quoted as saying by dpa on Saturday, May 14. The sanctions give grounds to go this way, but such a move must not contradict German law and must also be confirmed by a decision of the European Court of Justice, she pointed out.

Earlier, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba at a meeting of the foreign ministers of the Group of Seven (G7) asked Germany and other G7 countries to pass a law allowing them to confiscate Russian assets and provide these funds to Ukraine for the reconstruction of the country. According to his estimates, we are talking about hundreds of billions of dollars and euros.

"Russia must pay politically, economically and financially. I appreciate the positive reaction of the G7 countries to my request," the Ukrainian minister said. Kuleba noted that Canada has already taken action and he feels others will follow suit "sooner rather than later."

Position of German Finance Minister Lindner

For his part, German Finance Minister Christian Lindner is positive about the idea of using Russian assets to rebuild war-torn Ukraine.

"My sense of justice says 'Yes' when it comes to the assets of the Russian state," the politician said in an interview with Der Spiegel weekly.

He is more skeptical about using the frozen assets of oligarchs for this purpose.

"That would be expropriation. In our state based on the rule of law, there are serious obstacles for such actions," he said.

Source: DW