Frozen and seized Russian assets in Western countries should be used to restore the Ukrainian economy, including paying the country's public debt. This was stated during the telethon by Oleg Ustenko, economic adviser to the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, he was quoted by RBC Ukraine, Ura.news andRIA Novosti .
The news appeared in Russian propaganda agencies and the media with headlines that Ukraine had proposed to "repay the state debt with the arrested assets of Russia."
“Do not forget that we are in the state budget deficit zone. (...) It's not easy, but it would be the right solution. 350 billion dollars of gold and foreign exchange reserves of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation are now frozen. Plus, 100-150 billion dollars of monetary nomenclature is under arrest. In total, 500 billion dollars. The money seized from the Russian Federation will be used to restore the economy of Ukraine,” Ustenko said.
RIA Novosti gives another quote, emphasizing that Ukraine does not pay its loans:
“We are not paying our loans now. <...> Do not forget that (Russia) <...> 350 billion dollars of their gold and foreign exchange reserves and 150 billion dollars of their nomenklatura money have been arrested, and our debts are several times, if not ten times less. Some of them can be used. And the economy of Ukraine will grow, and investors will come, and we will cover the debts with a part of what we take away from the Russian Federation, ”the pro-Kremlin agencyquotes Ustenko.
Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, the EU has blocked more than €200 billion of Central Bank assets, Bloomberg reported in May. The joint decision of the EU and the US to freeze the assets of the Russian Federation became known almost immediately after the start of the Russian war against Ukraine, on February 27, 2022. In February 2023, the European Commission reported freezing 21.5 billion euros that belonged to Russian oligarchs.
Earlier in May, US Attorney General Merrick Garland approved the first tranche of confiscated Russian assets in favor of Ukraine, Reuters reported. This tranche should go to the restoration of the country, Garland separately noted that the tranche is "the first, but not the last."