| 18 April 2024, Thursday |

UK mulling seizure of Russian assets to give to Ukraine: Foreign Secretary Liz Truss

In an attempt to replicate Canada, British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said that their government is considering seizing the assets of Russians in the UK in order to give them to Ukraine.

The move comes hours ahead of Truss’s meeting on Monday in Lugano, Switzerland, which will be attended by most of Ukraine’s senior political leadership either in person or virtually. The conference will focus on Ukrainian reconstruction.
It has been estimated that over 120,000 homes in Ukraine have been destroyed in the war and the country will require billions in aid to help rebuild its infrastructure and economy.

According to The Guardian, Truss told MPs last week that the government could seize frozen Russian assets in the UK and redistribute them to victims of Russia’s war in Ukraine.

“I am supportive of the concept. We are looking at it very closely. The Canadians have in fact just passed legislation This is an issue that we are working on jointly with the Home Office and the Treasury, but I certainly agree with the concept. We just need to get the specifics of it right,” she was quoted as saying.

She said the initiative would “most probably” need legislation but not necessarily.

Currently, the UK has the power to suspend Russian assets under the Economic Crime Act for 56 days and roll over the suspension for a further 56 days. In that period the owner of the asset cannot benefit from the asset in any way.

At the conference, Truss’ main aim is to position the UK as Ukraine’s key partner in the recovery process. Britain has already offered $1.5bn to the country through multilateral loan guarantees and more than £100m in bilateral support, reports the UK-based newspaper.

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