MOSCOW: Russia warned the West today that Moscow would be very tough if the US and European Union seized hundreds of billions of dollars worth of Russian assets.
After President Vladimir Putin sent troops into Ukraine in 2022, the US and its allies prohibited transactions with Russia’s central bank and finance ministry, blocking around US$300 billion of sovereign Russian assets in the West.
The EU adopted a law yesterday to set aside windfall profits made on frozen Russian central bank assets, it said yesterday, in a first concrete step towards the bloc’s aim of using the money to finance the reconstruction of Ukraine.
“This is theft: It’s the appropriation of something that doesn’t belong to you,” Russia’s foreign ministry’s spokesman Maria Zakharova told Sputnik radio, TASS reported.
Zakharova said the response from Moscow would be “extremely tough” as Russia felt it was essentially dealing with thieves.
“Considering that our country has qualified this as theft, the attitude will be towards thieves,” Zakharova said. “Not as political manipulators, not as overplayed technologists, but as thieves.”
Russia has said that if its property is seized then it will seize US, European and other assets in response.