From Arseniy Yatseniuk and others

Letter: Action is needed to let Ukraine use Russia’s frozen assets

A man walks near damaged buildings in the course of Ukraine-Russia conflict in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine on April 22 2022 © Reuters

We call on the leaders of the G7 and the EU to approve the long-awaited decision to let Ukraine use Russian sovereign assets and funnel them to compensate for the damages caused and inflicted upon Ukraine and Ukrainians (FT View, October 3).

As direct victims of Russian aggression, they are entitled to be fully compensated by Russia for the damage it inflicted upon them. Until Russia brings itself into compliance with international law and compensates Ukraine and Ukrainians fully by way of legally binding reparations, Ukraine and Ukrainians should become the recipients of Russian sovereign assets.

As of today, the total volume of frozen sovereign Russian assets amounts to approximately €300bn, including some €200bn in the EU. So we call on world leaders to take several important steps. It is necessary to form an open register of frozen sovereign Russian assets, indicating their amounts, types of assets, their location, current state of use and revenues thereon. It is necessary to disclose terms and conditions of current utilisation of all frozen sovereign assets of the Russian Federation.

Until the final decision on transfer is made, the revenues stemming from the use of Russia’s frozen assets must be directed to Ukraine and Ukrainians. We welcome the recent decision of the Belgium government to use the tax revenue from frozen Russian assets for the benefit of Ukraine.

However, further actions are needed in the EU and the US to find a proper solution. In June 2023, the “Rebuilding Economic Prosperity and Opportunity (REPO) for Ukrainians Act” was introduced in the US Congress. Its legal mechanisms empower the US president to utilise sovereign assets of the Russian Federation. Enactment of this bill will provide the US with additional tools to take action. Related actions, including necessary legislative decisions, should be taken by the EU and its member states. Russian sovereign assets should be contributed to a special Ukraine recovery fund managed by the representatives of G7 nations, in consultation with the government of Ukraine.

According to World Bank estimates, in February 2023 the cost of recovery in Ukraine had already reached $411bn. This number grows day by day. The Russian sovereign assets of €300bn fail to compensate the whole quantum of losses Ukraine has incurred yet will be a significant contribution to the cause of saving and rebuilding a democratic, resilient, European Ukraine.

Arseniy Yatseniuk
Chairman, Kyiv Security Forum; Prime Minister of Ukraine 2014 and 2014-2016

Lawrence H Summers
President Emeritus of Harvard University, US Treasury Secretary 1999-2001

Amb Robert B Zoellick
President, The World Bank 2007-12;
US Deputy Secretary of State 2005-06;
US Trade Representative 2001-05

Philip Zelikow
Senior Fellow, Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, Counselor of the
US Department of State 2005-07

Andrius Kubilius
Prime Minister of Lithuania 1999-2000 and 2008-12; Member of the European Parliament, Co-chair of the Euronest

Taavi Rõivas
Prime Minister of Estonia 2014-16

Nathalie Loiseau
Minister of France for European Affairs 2017-19; Member of the European Parliament

Michael Gahler
Member of the European Parliament

Amb Christoph Heusgen
Chairman of the Munich Security Conference, Permanent Representative of Germany to the UN 2017-21

Amb John Herbst
Senior Director of the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center, the US Ambassador to Ukraine 2003-06

Danylo Lubkivsky
Director of the Kyiv Security Forum, Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine in 2014

Francis Fukuyama
Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies

Garry Kasparov
Chairman of the Renew Democracy Initiative (RDI); Chairman of the Human Rights Foundation (HRF)

Amb Paula Dobriansky
Former US Undersecretary of State for Global Affairs 2001-09

Amb Alexander Vershbow
Distinguished Fellow at the Atlantic Council,
Deputy Secretary-General, Nato 2012-16, the US Ambassador to South Korea 2005-08 and the US Ambassador to Russia 2001-05

Amb Daniel Fried
Former US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs 2005-09, the State Department Coordinator for Sanctions Policy 2013-17 and the US Ambassador to Poland 1997-2000

Amb Eric Edelman
Former US Under Secretary of Defense for Policy 2005-09, the US Ambassador to Turkey 2003-05; and the US Ambassador to Finland 1998-2001

Amb Michael McFaul
Director, Stanford University’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, the US Ambassador to Russia 2012-14

David Kramer
Executive Director, George W Bush Institute, the Former US Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, 2008-09

Evelyn Farkas
Executive Director, McCain Institute, Former US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine, Eurasia 2012-15

Tom Malinowski
Senior Fellow, McCain Institute, US Congressman 2019-23

Amb Douglas Lute
US Ambassador to Nato 2013-17

Amb Marie Yovanovitch
US Ambassador to Ukraine 2016-19

Amb William B Taylor
Vice-President of the US Institute for Peace, the US Ambassador to Ukraine 2006-09

Amb Carlos Pascual
US Ambassador to Ukraine 2000-03

Amb Steven Pifer
Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution, the US Ambassador to Ukraine 1998-2000

Amb Stephen Sestanovich
Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations, Professor, Columbia University, the US Ambassador-at-Large for the former Soviet Union 1997-2001

Amb Richard Morningstar
Founding Chairman, Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center, US Ambassador to Azerbaijan 2012-14 and US Ambassador to the European Union 1999-2001

Amb P Michael McKinley
US Ambassador to Brazil 2017-18, the US Ambassador to Afghanistan 2015-16, the US Ambassador to Colombia 2010-13 and the US Ambassador to Peru 2007-10

Franklin Kramer
Former Assistant Secretary of Defense for International SecurityAffairs, Distinguished Fellow and Board Director at the Atlantic Council

Laurence H Tribe
Carl M Loeb University Professor Emeritus, Harvard University

Steven Tian
Research Director, Yale Chief Executive Leadership Institute

Anders Åslund
Former Adviser to the President of Ukraine 1994-97

Jeffrey Sonnenfeld
Lester Crown Professor of Leadership Practice at Yale School of Management

Джерело: FT