The European Union (EU) has taken a significant step in pressuring Russia to take responsibility for its actions in Ukraine by immobilizing more than €200 billion ($215 billion) in Russian central bank assets. The latest data reveals the EU’s firm commitment to ensuring that Russia pays for the damages caused during the invasion of Ukraine.
EU member states reported these fresh numbers on blocked assets following the implementation of the 10th sanctions package, which compelled banks to disclose the size of their holdings. Christian Wigand, spokesperson for the European Commission, confirmed these figures and expressed the EU’s dedication to utilizing the frozen assets to assist in the rebuilding process of war-torn Ukraine.
“The EU is committed to ensuring that Russia pays for the damages caused in Ukraine,” Wigand stated during an interview. He further explained that the EU is actively exploring various strategies for leveraging Russian frozen and immobilized assets to fulfill this objective.
In addition to immobilizing the substantial central bank assets, the EU has also frozen €24.1 billion in Russian private assets belonging to sanctioned individuals and entities since the initial invasion of Ukraine over 14 months ago. The EU’s comprehensive approach includes imposing sanctions on nearly 1,500 individuals, as well as implementing export restrictions on a wide range of goods and technologies. Furthermore, the EU has strategically targeted Moscow’s vital revenue sources. Despite these efforts, freezing the assets of sanctioned Russian billionaires has proven to be a challenging endeavor for the EU.