Brussels Plots Confiscation of Russian Funds
Some leading voices in Europe, especially among military experts, may be looking for a way out of what has become NATO’s full-fledged war against Russia, if only to stop the economic debacle in their own countries (see below). But that is apparently not the case with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and her crew, who are intent on escalation by other means. She announced on Nov. 30 that the European Union is preparing to confiscate the funds of Russia, which member countries have frozen, to finance the “reconstruction” of Ukraine. “We have the means to make Russia pay”, she blustered.
These are not small amounts. Some €300 billion of international reserves held by the Russian Central Bank have been blocked, and another $20 billion in assets held by private Russian individuals and companies have been frozen. According to von der Leyen, the EU and its partners could manage and invest the funds in the short term, and then send the proceeds to Ukraine.
But there’s a major problem: international law strictly prohibits confiscation of a state’s assets. Therefore, before EU member states could seize the Russian Central Bank’s reserves, they would first have to come up with a legal framework, such as criminal prosecution, to allow it. But that would set a dangerous precedent, discouraging foreign countries everywhere from investing or depositing funds in Europe that could be seized arbitrarily, at any time.
Yet, it is perhaps with such an objective in mind, that EU bureaucrats are now mapping out plans to prosecute Russians as “war criminals”. Brussels has proposed that a UN-backed “specialized court” be established to investigate war crimes allegedly committed in Ukraine. Ursula von der Leyen announced last week that the EU is looking to mobilize the “broadest possible international support” to establish it.
It is certainly no coincidence that Ukraine’s First Lady Olena Zelenska was in London at the same time to address members of the British Parliament. In addition to military victory, she said, “Ukraine needs justice”, and demands the creation of a “Nuremberg-style tribunal”. She urged British officials to lead the effort to prosecute senior Russian officials .
War crimes should be punished, no doubt. But one wonders why Ursula von der Leyen and other eurocrats never denounced the multiple atrocities committed over the past decades by NATO countries, above all the United States and the United Kingdom – under the pretext of defending “western values” in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and the list goes on. Oh, that’s right, in their logic, there are “good” war crimes and “bad” war crimes.