EU finds alternative for countries unwilling to redirect Russian assets to buy weapons for Ukraine
Photo: The 71st Jaeger Brigade

The European Union is considering the possibility of allowing neutral countries to refuse to use frozen Russian assets to buy weapons for Ukraine, Politico reported, citing unnamed European diplomats.

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The proposal came ahead of a meeting of the 27 EU ambassadors on May 8, at which Belgium (which holds the Council presidency) hopes to reach an agreement on releasing funds for Ukraine. According to the publication's interlocutors, countries that oppose military aid to Kyiv can limit themselves to providing humanitarian assistance.

The article notes that the use of profits from Russian assets to buy arms for Ukraine is a last-ditch attempt to win over non-NATO EU countries such as Austria, Malta, Cyprus, and Ireland. Other staunch critics of the EU's military strategy in Ukraine, such as Hungary and Slovakia, also support this caveat.

One of Politico's interlocutors noted that Germany, France, and Italy are the least enthusiastic about this proposal due to legal and financial risks, so there are concerns that these countries will not support the relevant agreement on May 8.

If approved, the document will pave the way for the EU to transfer between 2.5 and 3 billion euros by July to help Ukraine defend itself against Russian aggression.

Read also: Chancellor Scholz supports use of 90% of revenues from frozen Russian assets for weapons for Ukraine