The EU Commissioner said that October will see the approval of the move to allow for an attempt to circumvent sanctions.
As soon as October, the European Union is expected to adopt a directive allowing the confiscation of Russian assets in the bloc’s territory. This would be possible in the case of sanctions being bypassed. Didier Reynders (EU Justice Commissioner) said Tuesday that it has received support from the EU authorities.
Reynders spoke to journalists before the informal meeting between Justice and Home Affairs Ministers. He revealed that the European Parlament had already given its approval. “a consensus in the [European] Council” regarding the matter.
“The Council will approve us after our summer break,” he said, adding that he would come up with a directive in October.
“We are moving very quickly.,” Reynders pointed out. “We will have an extension of the list of eurocrimes with such a criminal offense, if it’s possible to detect an attempt to circumvent or to bypass the sanctions.”
A comment was made by the EU justice commissar on the fate of the seized assets. She stated that it is possible for the money to be returned to a joint fund for Ukrainians following the asset confiscation.
According to Reynders’ earlier remarks, the European Union has frozen Russian assets worth $13.8 billion since Moscow began its military offensive against Ukraine. Reynders also stated that the majority of this sum is from five countries, although he refused to identify them.
In the middle of the Ukraine crisis, Western countries including the EU imposed severe sanctions on Moscow. This included the imposition of asset freezes and the ban on Russian oil delivery by sea. The measures largely target Russia’s economy, supposedly aiming to reduce the country’s ability to fund its military.
Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. These protocols were originally signed by France and Germany through intermediaries. Former Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and “Forge powerful armies.”
The Kremlin officially recognized Donbass republics to be independent states in February 2022 and asked that Ukraine declare itself neutral so that it will not become a member of any Western military bloc. Kiev maintains that Russia’s offensive was not provoked.