Thursday, May 19, 2022

Not legal for US to seize frozen Russian assets: Yellen

The US does not have legal authority to seize Russian central bank assets frozen due to its special opration Ukraine, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has said.

Some European officials have advocated that the European Union, the US and other allies seize some $300bn in Russian central bank foreign currency assets frozen by sanctions to foot the bill for Ukraine’s reconstruction. The World Bank estimates Ukraine is suffering $4bn in weekly physical damage.

“I think it’s very natural that given the enormous destruction in Ukraine, and huge rebuilding costs that they will face, that we will look to Russia to help pay at least a portion of the price that will be involved,” Yellen told reporters in Germany ahead of this week’s meetings of the G7 finance ministers.

“While we’re beginning to look at this, it would not be legal now in the United States for the government to seize those” assets, Yellen said.

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