Belgium Will Provide Ukraine with €1.7 Billion From the Proceeds of Frozen Russian Assets
Belgium will allocate 1.7 billion euros to assist Ukraine. These funds will come from taxes paid on the interest generated by millions of frozen Russian assets.
This was announced by the Prime Minister of Belgium, Alexander De Croo, during a joint briefing with Volodymyr Zelensky.
Millions of frozen Russian assets in Belgium generate taxable interest. According to the Prime Minister, the country is establishing a special Ukrainian Fund to direct these taxes towards 'the purchase of military equipment, humanitarian support, the European Peace Fund, and macro-financial assistance' for Ukraine.
'The source of this fund will be the billion-dollar Russian assets frozen in Belgium. We have an income tax on these frozen assets. Last year, it was clear to us that 100% of the income tax from these assets should go to the benefit of the Ukrainian people,' said Prime Minister Croo.
At the same time, Prime Minister Croo emphasized that Belgium cannot transfer frozen Russian assets and the interest they generate directly at the moment because such a procedure has not been finalized and approved by the European Union. However, Croo expressed hope that such decisions would be made shortly.
It is worth noting that Belgium has frozen Russian assets amounting to 58 billion euros, which is a record among EU countries.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky also stressed the importance of international efforts to address the issue of confiscation and realization of frozen Russian assets as fair compensation for the damage caused by Russia.
'We all need to work to ensure that the EU makes a positive decision regarding the transfer of frozen Russian assets for the restoration of Ukraine's infrastructure, bomb shelters, schools, hospitals, bridges, and more. We also discussed the issue of the cost of restoring the Kakhovka Dam, which is estimated at 1.5 billion euros. We need to find the money. If Russia, whose assets are frozen in the EU, damages our infrastructure, it is logical that we should have the right to use their funds,' said the Ukrainian President.
As previously reported by Bloomberg in June 2023, the EU was considering the possibility of taxing the income from frozen Russian assets totaling over 200 billion euros. It is expected that such frozen assets could bring in approximately 3 billion euros in unforeseen revenue.
As the Gaze reported earlier, since Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the governments of EU countries and G7 countries have frozen foreign assets of the Central Bank of Russia, totaling about 300 billion euros, and the private assets of sanctioned Russian oligarchs. It was anticipated that these funds could be directed towards compensating the damage caused by Russia to Ukraine, but the mechanism for their transfer is still under development.
In the spring of 2023, the World Bank estimated the damages inflicted on Ukraine by Russia at 411 billion dollars. According to the Ukrainian government's forecasts, this figure could double.