ECB fires back at plots to confiscate Russian assets


(MENAFN) European Central Bank (ECB) President Christine Lagarde has raised concerns over proposals to seize frozen Russian assets, cautioning that such actions could undermine the international order. Lagarde's remarks came during a meeting in Washington where G7 finance ministers and central bank governors were discussing the utilization of immobilized assets belonging to the Russian central bank to support Ukraine.

In a joint statement issued after the meeting, the finance ministers and regulators affirmed their commitment to exploring "all possible avenues" for leveraging Russian sovereign assets, as reported by Reuters. However, the push to seize Moscow's assets has sparked divisions among G7 and European Union political leaders.

The United States and its allies have imposed sanctions resulting in the blocking of approximately USD300 billion in Russian central bank assets, with around USD200 billion of these assets held within the European Union. While the United States has advocated for the confiscation of these funds, citing international law, Germany and France have expressed reservations, citing concerns about setting a dangerous precedent.

Lagarde, drawing on her legal background, highlighted the challenges posed by proposals to circumvent legal obstacles associated with seizing the assets. She emphasized the importance of upholding the international order and cautioned against actions that could be perceived as violations of established legal norms.

Transitioning from freezing to confiscating assets, Lagarde suggested, could potentially undermine the very international order that nations seek to uphold and expect Russia to respect. Her remarks underscore the complexities surrounding the issue of frozen Russian assets and the delicate balance between pursuing justice and maintaining global stability.

The stance taken by Lagarde reflects broader discussions within the international community regarding the appropriate response to Russia's actions and the implications of measures aimed at seizing its assets. As diplomatic efforts continue, the question of how to address frozen Russian assets remains a central point of contention, with considerations extending beyond immediate geopolitical tensions to encompass broader legal and ethical considerations.

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