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EU set to steer windfall profits from frozen Russian assets to Ukraine, source tells Reuters

Photo by Didier Weemaels / Unsplash

Ambassadors from all 27 European Union nations agreed to set aside windfall profits generated from frozen Russian assets with the intention of using them to help pay for the reconstruction of Ukraine, Reuters reported.

An unnamed source from Belgium, which holds the rotating presidency of the EU, told the news agency that the ambassadors reached an agreement "in principle" to devote to Ukraine the profits generated from some $200 million in frozen Russian assets held in the EU.

Although the news agency didn't say how much money may be involved, Belgium has said it intended to create an $1.8 billion fund for Ukraine using tax on profits generated by Russian assets frozen after the start of the war.

Steering profits from the frozen Russian assets to Ukraine, instead of the frozen assets themselves, is politically less tricky. Last week, senior EU officials, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said Ukraine is not likely to get the frozen assets themselves.

The meeting of ambassadors comes days before EU leaders meet Feb 1 in a bid to overcome objections of Hungary and approve a €50 billion aid package for Ukraine, dubbed the "Ukraine Facility."

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denyst Shmyhal has said the EU member states have reached an agreement needed to approve the aid package and he expected it to pass at the Feb 1 meeting.

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