EU plans to use frozen Russian assets to send arms and money to Ukraine

Head of European Diplomacy Josep Borrell with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (EFE)

The European Union (EU) is moving forward with its plan Use the profits generated from billions of euros of frozen Russian assets Europe to send arms and money to Ukraine, a senior official said on Tuesday.

Head of EU external relations, josep borrellhas received the green light for the plan from most of the bloc’s foreign ministers, and the EU is expected to approve it at a summit starting in Brussels on Thursday.

Kiev is short of ammunition, and US government efforts to obtain funding are stalled in Congress.

EU is around Russian central bank’s assets worth 200 billion euros ($217 billion) seized in Belgium In retaliation for the war. The group of 27 countries estimates that these assets generate around 3 billion euros of interest annually.

“The Russians won’t be very happy. Total amount, 3 billion annuallyIt’s not extraordinary, but it’s not ridiculous either,” Borrell told the press.

A small group of member states, notably Hungary, refuse to provide arms to Ukraine, so those benefits would be divided. About 90% of the money will go to a special fund that many EU countries use to reimburse them for the arms and ammunition they send.

The European Union has frozen about 200 billion euros of assets of Russia’s Central Bank in Belgium (Reuters/Shamil Zhumatov)

The remaining 10% will go to the EU budget to strengthen the Ukrainian defense industry. Borrell said countries that object to arms shipments can say they are not doing so.

Under the current interpretation of the Union treaties, the budget cannot be used to purchase weapons, but The special fund – called the European Peace Fund – is not part of the budget. Nor does it have to meet uniform legal guidelines or be approved by the European Parliament.

The European Central Bank has warned in the past that freezing Russian assets would undermine confidence in the euro currency and European markets. But Borrell said those assets would not be touched, but only the interests arising from them. He said the ECB had been consulted about the plan.

For his part, Borrell admitted this Tuesday that if the EU cuts military aid to Ukraine it will not be able to supply the United States, although he stressed that the bloc will be able to access financing, including the issuance of loans. “Creative” forms should be sought.

In an interview with a group of media including Europa PressThe head of European diplomacy described the scenario in which Washington reduces support for Kiev Would leave Ukrainian army in “very difficult” situation In their fight against the Russian invasion.

Borrell warned that the EU would not be able to supply US military aid (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty/Serhiy Nuznenko via Reuters)

“It is certainly difficult to think that we could provide another $50,000 million, which is the support of the United States. “I don’t think the EU has the capacity to increase aid to Ukraine to the same extent as the United States,” he said.

The High Representative indicated that, in any case, it would be possible if there was “political will” to double support for Ukraine but that this would need to be “more creative” and Search “New Financial Instruments” To be devoted to defense expenditure and military production.

“If we have a sense of urgency, we want to act really quickly and we can’t do it with annual resources, you guessed it, it’s called debt,” he used as an example. Citing the common debt issued by Europe, he said. The coronavirus crisis, something that has been acknowledged in all cases “is far from the consensus of the 27.”

The question of issuing joint loans at European level to finance the strengthening of armies and arms production in Europe remains under debate after Council President Charles Michel opened himself to this possibility. “Everything is impossible until someone does it. The council president is taking the debate forward and the question is not whether he is right or wrong but about seeing things from that perspective,” said a senior community official.

(With information from AP and Europa Press)

Source link

About Admin

Check Also

Petro says Maria Corina Machado’s disqualification an “undemocratic coup”

(CNN Spanish) — Colombia’s President Gustavo Petro spoke this Monday about the electoral process in ... Read more

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *