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EU to spend profit from frozen Russian assets on weapons for Ukraine, not rebuilding, Scholz says

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. (Photo from Scholz's office)

The European Union will use profits generated from frozen Russian assets to buy weapons for Ukraine, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said, confirming that the funds will not be reserved for the reconstruction effort.

Speaking in Berlin at a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, Scholz addressed the EU's push to bolster Ukraine's fight against Russia, without mentioning rebuilding the country.

"We will use windfall profits from Russian assets frozen in Europe to financially support the purchase of weapons for Ukraine," Scholz said.

The comments come after European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told the European Parliament in late February that profit generated from some $300 million in Russian assets frozen by Western nations should be used to buy weapons for Ukraine.

Previously, most politicians held the position that such profits, predicted to total $15 billion over the next four years, should be used to repair war damage in Ukraine.

The comments by Scholz and von der Leyen focused on the profits generated from the frozen assets, and not the assets themselves.

However, UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron said last week that his country is willing to lend Ukraine all frozen Russian assets held in Britain on the understanding that Russia will be forced to pay reparations when the war is done.

Cameron didn't say how much money could be involved by Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said recently that the UK holds some $23 billion in frozen Russian assets.

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