Skip to content

Russian assets frozen in UK, Switzerland and Luxembourg alone could rebuild Ukraine's airports, highways and bridges, minister says

Destroyed Ukrainian airport facility. (Ukrainian military photo)

Frozen Russian assets in the UK, Luxembourg and Switerland alone could pay for the reconstruction of Ukraine's transport infrastructure, including six civilian airports, at least 344 bridges and 25,000 kms of highways, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said.

And such assets currently held in Germany, Austria, Ireland and Poland could completely rebuild Ukraine's education infrastructure, including 1,700 schools, 1,000 kindergartens and 586 universities, as well as hundreds of other buildings, Kuleba wrote in an opinion piece in Politico.

"And that’s not all. Russian assets in France ($1.48 billion) would be enough to build a new hydroelectric power plant to replace Ukraine’s Kakhovka plant, which Russia destroyed last summer," he said in the article, which urges Western nations to overcome hesitation to confiscate some $300 billion in frozen Russian assets.

"And the profits from Russian assets held in Belgium’s Euroclear depository for 2022 and the first half of 2023 alone total $2.56 billion," Kuleba wrote. "That money could rebuild 1,223 health care facilities, including 384 hospitals and 352 outpatient centers damaged or destroyed by Russia."

Many Western governments hesitate to outright confiscate Russian assets and give them to Ukraine, saying investors may hesitate to place money in Western nations for fear of confiscation for political reasons.

Kuleba, though, argued in Politico that confiscation of the assets, which are mostly held with Belgian clearinghouse Euroclear, would make other countries "think twice before they mount any similar acts of aggression."

He said $23 billion in frozen Russian assets are held in the UK, $6.8 billion in Luxembourg and $8.7 billion in Switzerland. Meanwhile, Germany holds $6.5 billion, Austria has $1.8 billion, Ireland has $2 billion and Poland holds $1.13 billion.

Earlier this month, the Commission adopted a law that sets aside profit generated from interest and other sources on frozen Russian assets held inside the EU in a first step toward using those assets to benefit Ukraine.

Sign up for free access to all articles and a weekly newsletter!

Pease check your inbox and click the link to complete signup, Thank You!
Sorry, something went wrong. Please try again.