Estonia has become the first EU country to work towards a legal blueprint for the transfer of seized Russian assets to Ukraine, according to a Bloomberg report. The Estonian government instructed its ministries to prepare a plan for asset seizures in late December 2022.
The Estonian authorities intend to present the plan by the time the European Commission finishes work on a bloc-wide agreement on how the EU should dispose of €300 billion ($322 billion) in frozen Russian Central Bank reserves and billions of other assets of sanctioned Russian individuals. The value of frozen Russian assets in Estonia amounts to over €20 million, according to the country’s Financial Intelligence Unit.
According to the publication, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s government is also ready to redirect seized Russian assets towards aid for Ukraine, provided complex legal issues are resolved. According to a Bloomberg source, “one option [for the German government] would be to target assets from individuals involved in war crimes rather than imposing blanket seizures that could take years to be resolved legally”.