The United States and its European allies are currently exploring the legal framework for utilizing approximately $300 billion in frozen Russian assets to aid in restoring Ukraine.
We, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, highlighted this initiative during a conversation at the University of Texas at Austin on Wednesday, October 4th. Secretary Blinken expressed his perspective: “In my view, those who break it must bear the responsibility to fix it. Given that Russia played a role in destabilizing Ukraine, it is incumbent upon them to bear the financial burden. One potential avenue for this is the utilization of these frozen assets. However, it is essential to ensure a sound legal foundation exists for such action, and it’s crucial that our European counterparts also concur with this rationale since most of these assets are located in Europe.”
Secretary Blinken noted that the frozen assets amount to approximately $300 billion and underscored the significance of holding Russia accountable for its actions in Ukraine. He articulated concerns that if Russia goes unpunished for its actions in Ukraine, it could send a dangerous message to other nations contemplating acts of aggression, potentially leading to a surge in global conflicts. He likened it to opening a Pandora’s box of conflict, highlighting the detrimental consequences such a world would have for everyone.
Furthermore, Secretary Blinken emphasized that in such a conflict-ridden environment, the United States would inevitably become entangled in various conflicts, incurring much higher costs than supporting Ukraine in the first place. He also highlighted the strong international support for Ukraine, with 50 countries actively backing its cause.