Business news from Ukraine

FINANCIAL TIMES – BORRELL BELIEVES EU COULD USE FROZEN RUSSIAN FUNDS TO REBUILD UKRAINE

The head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, believes that the EU could withdraw Russian reserves stored in Europe and send them to the restoration of Ukraine.
“I would strongly advocate for it, as it is completely logical,” he said in an interview published in The Financial Times on Monday.
“The European Commission has said that restoring Ukraine could cost hundreds of billions of euros, and European capitals could consider seizing Russian assets frozen abroad to help pay for Ukraine’s rebuilding (…)”, the FT quoted the words as saying. Borrell.
At the same time, Borrell drew an analogy with Afghanistan – the United States took control of billions of dollars of assets belonging to the Central Bank of Afghanistan in order to possibly use them in part to compensate victims of terrorism, as well as to provide humanitarian assistance to the country.
“We have money in our pockets, and someone has to explain to me why it’s good to do this with Afghan money, but not with Russian money,” Borrell said.
“EU representatives have considered whether it is possible in any way to direct Russia’s reserves to the reconstruction of Ukraine, but Brussels has not moved forward with any political proposals on this topic,” the publication notes.
The FT recalls that “shortly after the start of the conflict, the EU and its allies froze hundreds of billions of dollars of foreign assets of the Central Bank of Russia.”

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KYIV EXPECTS PROPOSALS FROM LOCAL AUTHORITIES TO REBUILD UKRAINE

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky expects proposals from local authorities for the post-war reconstruction of the regions.
“There was a meeting of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities. We discussed a range of issues, including the rebuilding of our state. We are already working out all the details so that the post-war reconstruction project can be implemented quickly and as effectively as possible. I emphasized that we expect specific requests and proposals from local authorities, so that we can talk substantively with our partners, with international donors,” he said in a video message Wednesday night.
According to the president, “the communities must give all the information about the destroyed housing. “We discussed how and in what sequence to build, how to organize the redemption of finished housing. Our goal is not only to restore what was destroyed by the occupiers, but also to solve the long-standing problems that exist with the housing queues,” the president said.

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CANADA PLANS TO TRANSFER SEIZED RUSSIAN ASSETS TO REBUILD UKRAINE

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly has said the federal government of Canada will change its sanctions law to allow seized and sanctioned foreign assets to be redistributed as compensation to victims or to help in rebuilding a foreign state from war, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) has reported.
“Today, we are seeking the capacity to not only seize but to allow for the forfeiture of the assets of sanctioned individuals and entities and to allow us to compensate victims with the proceeds… These changes would make Canada’s sanctions regime the first in the G7 to allow these actions,” Joly said in a statement on Tuesday.
The CBC said that Canada is among a number of countries to have imposed sanctions on Russia after it invaded Ukraine on February 24. The changes that Canada aims to bring to its sanctions law will mean that funds or property seized from Russia could be paid out to help rebuild Ukraine or go to those affected by Russia’s invasion.
The text of the bill says the seized assets can be used for “the reconstruction of the foreign state adversely affected by a grave breach of international peace and security.” The funds could also be used for “the restoration of international peace and security” and to compensate victims when that security is breached.
A similar bill that would allow Canada to seize and confiscate Russian assets for the purpose of supporting victims of Russian attacks was already tabled by Sen. Ratna Omidvar and is poised to be approved by the upper chamber.
According to the CBC, the Ukrainian Embassy to Canada has urged lawmakers to quickly enact Omidvar’s bill. “We believe it is absolutely fair that Russian state property or ill-gotten assets of Russian oligarchs must become a part of reparations by the aggressor state to the victim of the aggression… By passing the Bill S-217 Canada will demonstrate leadership and could set an example for others to follow and show that the Russian kleptocratic corrupt regime will pay the full cost of its crimes against Ukraine,” the embassy said in a statement.

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