German minister wants to use proceeds from frozen Russian assets for Ukraine

Session of the lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, in Berlin

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - German Finance Minister Christian Lindner favours using the interest accrued from frozen Russian assets to support Ukraine in its war against Moscow, he said on Wednesday on the sidelines of a Group of 20 meeting which was discussing the issue.

Finance ministers from the G20 want to increase the pressure on Russia and strengthen Ukraine, said Lindner in Sao Paulo.

"The European Union is working on how the proceeds from Russian assets can be used for Ukraine. That is a realistic, step that is legally secure and which can be implemented quickly and that is what we are concentrating on," he said.

He added that a single-digit billion sum could be mobilized for Kyiv by using the interest earned on the frozen assets, adding he expected the EU to put forward a proposal soon.

The United States is pushing its Western partners to move forward to unlock the value of the assets.

U.S. Treasure Secretary Janet Yellen has said the G20 was evaluating options for some $285 billion in Russian assets immobilized in 2022 and the associated risks.

Lindner also said Germany would not agree to a G20 communique unless it mentioned geopolitical wars such as that in Ukraine.

(Reporting by Christian Kraemer; Writing by Madeline Chambers; Editing by Kirsti Knolle)