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S&Ds: Use frozen Russian assets from sanctions for the reconstruction of Ukraine


17 Oct 2023


Global Europe
The Socialists and Democrats call on the member states to agree on a legal basis to allow the confiscation of Russian public assets frozen by EU sanctions for the purpose of the reconstruction of Ukraine. This call is a priority for our group in the negotiations on the Ukraine Facility - a new instrument intended to provide 50 billion euros of financial support for Ukraine over the 2024-2027 period. The European Parliament is voting its position on this today in the plenary.
For the S&D Group, there is no doubt that the EU should continue supporting Ukraine, which is defending itself against Russia’s war of aggression. The country needs the EU’s assistance to continue to deliver basic public services, like schools, hospitals and pensions, as well as to work on the reforms required for future EU membership, including to strengthen the rule of law, fight against corruption and contribute to climate objectives. For the S&D Group, it is important that Verkhovna Rada, social partners and civil society are closely involved in the preparation of the EU’s financial support.
Eider Gardiazábal Rubial, S&D MEP and European Parliament’s negotiator on the matter in the EP committee on budgets, said:
“Since the beginning of Russia’s war against Ukraine the EU has mobilised funds to support Ukraine politically, economically and socially. Continuing with this support is a priority for the S&D Group and therefore, it is absolutely necessary and urgent that this new mechanism of 50 billion euros is approved. Russia has to pay for what it does to Ukraine. For this reason, Russian public assets should be confiscated in order to finance the reconstruction of Ukraine and compensate the victims of aggression. The confiscated amount would be added to the 50 billion euros of the facility to be voted on today. We count on our Ukrainian partners to create a coherent plan, together with their civil society, local and regional authorities, that is approved by the Verkohvna Rada. Our group expects a detailed list of reforms and investments with defined milestones and a clear agenda.”
Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz, S&D MEP and negotiator on the matter in the EP committee on foreign affairs, said:
“S&Ds want and will support Ukraine’s current budget needs, its reconstruction and preparation for EU membership. However, Ukraine’s needs are colossal, and the damage caused by the Russian aggressor is many times greater than the help we can provide. This is why the EU should confiscate Russian public assets frozen in our countries. The claim that this cannot be done legally is false. The aggressor does not enjoy any immunity. It would be an unforgivable mistake if we were to return money to the perpetrators of the most serious crime under international law, ignoring the needs of the victims. Let’s not forget that Russia, on its own initiative, has nationalised the assets of Western companies worth tens of billions of euros.”