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Shmyhal: Belgium is ready to use Russian assets to finance weapons for Ukraine

Shmyhal: Belgium is ready to use Russian assets to finance weapons for Ukraine

Belgium EU Europe Military assistance Russia Sanctions Ukraine World

Belgium is ready to use the €1.7 billion received from frozen Russian assets to finance Ukraine’s defense needs.

The Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal announced this.

According to the official, the country’s government is ready to finance Ukrainian defense contracts from the profits received from frozen Russian assets in Belgium.

“Belgium has declared that it has received €1.7 billion in revenue from Russian assets. Part of these funds were allocated to support Ukrainian refugees in the EU. Belgium is partially ready to finance Ukraine’s needs, including defense,” said Denys Shmyhal.

As of today, about €300 billion worth of Russian assets have been frozen under international sanctions, most of which are located in the European Union.

Most of Russia’s assets are represented by securities and investments. Of these, almost €200 billion are managed by the Belgian financial company Euroclear.

Currently, there is no mechanism for transferring these assets directly to Ukraine. However, Belgium has imposed a 25% income tax on them, the proceeds of which are used to finance Ukrainian refugees (about €1.7 billion).

Shmyhal also said that Belgium was ready to consider, together with its partners, the possibility of confiscating Russian assets and transferring them to Ukraine. These mechanisms will be worked out this year.

Military assistance of Belgium

In late February, Belgian Defense Minister Ludivine Dedonder announced that her country would join a coalition to purchase artillery shells that the Czech Republic had found in an unnamed country.

Belgium will allocate €200 million, which will make it possible to purchase about 50,000 artillery shells for Ukraine.

In addition, in 2024, the country plans to provide Ukraine with €611 million in military aid and help modernize Ukrainian Defense Forces.

In addition, Belgium takes an active part in the training of Ukrainian pilots on the F-16s.

Belgium EU Europe Military assistance Russia Sanctions Ukraine World