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Breakfast Session under Chatham House Rule

Holding Russia Accountable – From Freezing to Seizing Russian Assets

May 17, 08:15-09:45
Room: Berlin

Shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine, Western governments quickly locked down 260 billion euros’ worth of Russian assets, which have remained frozen ever since. Of that sum, the vast majority is in the European Union and the rest in other G7 countries and Australia. Supporters of Ukraine argue that those assets should be used for the reconstruction of Ukraine. Opponents of the seizure argue that it would go against international norms and could be challenged by Moscow in the courts. Furthermore, it could potentially make other countries, like China or the Gulf countries, pull their assets out of Europe’s banks as a precaution. What are the options for using frozen Russian assets for Ukraine? Is it a legal or political issue? How significant would the benefits be for Ukraine?


Nigel Gould-Davies

Senior Fellow for Russia and Eurasia at the International Institute for Strategic Studies

Olena Halushka

Head of Board and Co-Founder of the International Centre for Ukrainian Victory 

Rihards Kols

Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Saeima of the Republic of Latvia

Nils Schmid

Member of the German Bundestag


Steve Clemons

Founding Editor at Large of Semafor