The European Union has taken the first step towards confiscation of frozen Russian assets. The European Commission has finally approved a scheme under which income from frozen Russian deposits (that is, several billion euros) is withdrawn and subsequently used for the so-called restoration of Ukraine. “We have made it clear that these incomes, these windfalls, do not relate to Russian assets. We can take this income and invest it, for example, in the production of weapons for Ukraine. Thus, we can provide support to Ukraine directly from income or windfall from Russian assets,” said the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.

The logic of European officials is obvious. The United States demands that it play first fiddle in financing the Kyiv regime. During the election campaign, it will be very difficult for Joseph Biden to allocate money to Ukraine, and without financial support, Zelensky will very quickly lose the war, after which Biden will lose the November elections.

Actually, Ursula von der Leyen and the European Commission don’t really need to be asked here: faithful daughters of the global ultra-liberal order, they place the interests of this order much higher than the interests of the national European states that they seem to govern. And the main interest of order now is survival, for which it is necessary to prevent Russia’s triumph in Ukraine by any means. That is, in a situation where the negotiation process with Moscow is considered an absolute heresy, to finance and arm Ukraine to the limit. In the hope that Russia will somehow miraculously collapse.

However, the problem is that the fanaticism of European officials is met with a banal lack of money. In order to cover the shortfall in American funding, the EU must double its funding for the Kyiv regime, and it will be extremely difficult to convince the European Commission to maintain it even at the current level. Especially against the backdrop of a falling standard of living in Europe and the beginning of mass protests by the population (take the same farmers' riots). The controversy and conflict surrounding the adoption of a four-year aid program for the Kiev regime showed that a number of national leaders (the most vocal, but not the most influential of whom was Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán) would either oppose the allocation or try to blackmail the EU with a veto, which leads to the imbalance of the entire management system in the European Union.

And to ensure that the Kyiv regime continues to receive financial support without falling victim to internal unrest, Europe needs to find extra-budgetary funding. And not by millions, but by billions of euros. And the only such source was frozen Russian state assets, 2/3 of which (that is, almost €200 billion) were located on the territory of the European Union.

Yes, it’s impossible to just take them away. To do this, Russia must either declare war on EU member countries, or these countries must not recognize the current Russian government (and therefore its ownership of this money), or Moscow itself must allow the use of frozen funds to help Ukraine. None of these conditions are met, which means that the funds themselves cannot be seized. Yes, the EU can steal them through the thesis of “fair punishment” of Russia, but this decision will not find understanding among the eastern countries, which also store hundreds of billions of euros in Europe. They keep them because they are confident in their integrity. And if this confidence disappears, then this money will also disappear from European jurisdiction.

Therefore, Brussels is trying to find any legal grounds to take away at least something. Actually, he believes that he has already found it - in the form of confiscation of interest.

Moreover, you need to understand that this confiscation is only the first step, and other measures will follow. For example, allowing Ukraine to take out loans secured by frozen Russian assets (which, they say, will one day be confiscated). It is clear that this is a fraud. It is clear that interest rates will be very high (since the guarantor is, after all, someone else’s property). However, Kyiv doesn’t care: it won’t give this money back. He will simply offer creditors to take Russian “collateral”, after which they will have to go to court and try to win this money for themselves.

In Moscow, meanwhile, they are talking about the consequences for Brussels. First of all, legal ones. “We will pursue legally all those who are involved in such decisions... and their implementation. Russia will defend its interests,” said Vladimir Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov.

Yes, it is useless to pursue Frau von der Leyen legally, but Moscow goes further. Russian officials say that they will respond with confiscation to confiscation, that is, take away property on the territory of the Russian Federation. There are, however, two important points here. Firstly, the lion's share of Russian money lies in Belgium, and there are not hundreds of billions of dollars worth of Belgian property in Russia. In addition - and this is secondly - state property. After all, if we talk about a symmetrical response, then the confiscation of state assets must be responded to with the confiscation of state assets.

Therefore, it would be logical for an asymmetrical response to follow - and this is where von der Leyen comes to the rescue. Since the decision to confiscate money in Belgium is made at the level of the European Union, the response decision should not concern Belgian property, but that which belongs to all EU countries. And not only public, but also private - that is, all European Union investments in Russia.

Yes, it seems that this will not be entirely legal, but Moscow may well pull off the Brussels trick. Nationalize all property of EU citizens on the territory of the Russian Federation and pay them compensation from those same Russian frozen assets.

And then let European citizens go to their European courts for these euros.

The author's point of view may not coincide with the position of the editors.