The Biden administration is currently making moves to figure out how to use some $300 billion in frozen Russian money in order to further bankroll Ukraine.
Now, the Group of Seven democracies (G7), which includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States, is hoping it can find a means to embark on this mission before the second anniversary of Russia’s invasion on Ukraine in February.
Disagreements between the nations have brewed. US and United Kingdom officials have backed the idea of taking these Russian funds, whereas European partners, particularly Germany, believe that confiscating Russia’s sovereign assets would backfire, as it could discourage other nations around the globe from trusting their wealth in the West for fear it might get stolen.
“The G-7 leaders asked that options be developed and the matter be studied, to the extent that there are risks that they’d be evaluated, international law issues studied and so we’re in the process of doing that, but certainly no decision has been made,” US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen stated this week.
Numerous G-7 leaders have said that Russia must foot the bill for the war’s cost.
British Foreign Secretary David Cameron declared that the legal arguments behind seizing Russian money are legitimate.
“I am pushing hard on this. The world has changed. The arguments against are not as strong as people said, and there is a legal route,” he said.
Others take a different perspective. Jacob Kirkegaard, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, remarked that confiscating Russian assets could pose some risk as there “is a concern among some—the US Treasury, the Fed, the ECB—that if you do this you undermine the reserve status of the dollar and euro.”
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