White House pushing for plan to seize Russia’s frozen $300 billion — report

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Washington is in talks with its allies to develop a plan to seize $300 billion in frozen assets of the Russian Central Bank and use the funds to aid Ukraine, The New York Times reported on Dec. 21.

According to U.S. officials, talks among finance ministers, central bankers, diplomats, and lawyers have intensified over recent weeks amid concerns that Western financial support for Ukraine is waning.

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The administration is pressing the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, and Japan to develop a confiscation strategy by the second anniversary of the invasion on Feb. 24, 2024, the report says.

U.S. President Joe Biden has not yet approved a strategy, and many details are still the subject of intense debate. Officials need to determine whether the funds will be directly transferred to Ukraine or used for its benefit in other ways.

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A portion of the Russian assets, around $5 billion by some estimates, is held in institutions within the United States. However, the majority are held in U.S. dollars both in the United States and in Europe. Washington has the right to control transactions involving its currency and to use sanctions to immobilize assets denominated in U.S. dollars, the publication clarifies.

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Most of the Russian funds are stored in Europe, particularly in Switzerland and Belgium, which are not part of the G7. Diplomatic negotiations are ongoing with these countries, according to sources.

On Dec. 16, the Financial Times reported that the G7 countries are close to potentially confiscating frozen Russian assets.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine