Moscow promises tit-for-tat response to EU seizures of Russian assets

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Finance Minister Anton Siluanov has warned that Moscow will respond in kind if the European Union decides to utilize profits generated from frozen Russian assets.

Last year, around €260 billion ($285 billion) of Moscow’s central bank assets were immobilized in G7 countries, the EU, and Australia. Notably, €210 billion ($230 billion) of Russia’s reserves are held in the EU, with €191 billion in Belgium, €19 billion in France, and €7.8 billion in non-member Switzerland.

The EU aims to mobilize €15 billion for Ukraine from the proceeds of these frozen assets, contingent on unanimous approval from all member states.

“If such a decision is made, an absolutely symmetrical response will follow from the Russian Federation,” Siluanov told Rossiya 24 TV channel on Thursday. He noted that there are “sufficient assets” in ‘C-type’ accounts, specialized ruble-denominated bank accounts. Some of these include dividend reserve liabilities to counterparties from ‘unfriendly’ countries.

Siluanov added that all of those assets are frozen, “the amount isn’t small,” and the proceeds from their use are significant.

The European Commission’s plan had been delayed since the summer after several EU member states and the European Central Bank raised legal and financial concerns.

France, Germany, and Italy remain “extremely cautious” about the idea, and some EU officials “fear possible retaliation” from Moscow if its money is seized, according to a recent report by the Financial Times.

The newspaper said the initiative was gaining traction among the G7 states, as the US and EU have failed to secure a new financial aid package for Kiev.

Meanwhile, the Kremlin has said that such a move “violates all possible rules,” warning that those who decide to confiscate Russia’s reserves will face “serious” judicial and legal consequences.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

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