The Russian administration is prepared to retaliate against the EU.
Since the invasion of Ukraine last year, the European Union has frozen a substantial portion of Russian assets, mainly in Brussels.
The Union is now devising a concrete proposal on how these initially state-owned Russian funds can be used to assist in rebuilding Ukraine post-war instead of being reverted to Russia, a move not well-received in Moscow.
“A number of European politicians, led by EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, have once again begun talking about stealing our country's frozen assets to continue the militarization of Kyiv,” says Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker of the Russian State Duma, as reported by Reuters.
Russia is now threatening to confiscate European assets currently held by the Putin regime in a significantly larger extent than the amounts the EU plans to allocate for Ukraine.
“Such a decision would require a symmetrical response from the Russian Federation,” says Vyacheslav Volodin.
“In that case, many more assets belonging to unfriendly countries will be confiscated than our frozen assets in Europe.”
According to Ursula von der Leyen, the EU Commission President, the value of the frozen Russian assets amounts to 211 billion euros.
The Union has already determined that Russia must pay for the reconstruction of Ukraine.
Sweden, along with Denmark, Finland, Poland, and the Baltic countries, has expressed support for the idea of earmarking the Russian funds to help Ukraine get back on its feet once Russia has been defeated.
Others are more skeptical, for instance, Belgium and Luxembourg, warning of financial risks with such a decision.
Even the European Central Bank and EU giants like France and Germany are hesitant about utilizing the Russian assets for Ukrainian purposes.
“They are afraid that the venture would disturb the financial markets and jeopardize the euro's position as a reserve currency,” reports the newspaper Politico.