The European Union has frozen more than €17 billion ($16.9 billion) in Russian assets in the course of the sanctions packages against Russia, according to EU Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders.
“So far, the assets of 90 people have been frozen, over €17 billion in seven member states, including €2.2 billion in Germany,” the Belgian told the Funke media group of newspapers.
The EU has adopted eight sanctions packages since the Russian war against Ukraine began eight months ago.
Ukrainian politicians in particular have repeatedly demanded that the frozen assets be used to rebuild the country after the war.
On this Reynders said: “If it is money that comes from criminal businesses that the EU seizes, it is possible to channel it into a compensation fund for Ukraine. However, the amount is nowhere near enough to finance reconstruction.”
As part of the Western sanctions, €300 billion from foreign exchange reserves of the Russian Central Bank have also been frozen, he said.
“From my point of view, it is at least possible to keep these €300 billion as a guarantee until Russia voluntarily participates in the reconstruction of Ukraine,” Reynders said.