The US and other countries are reported to have frozen upwards of $300bn of Russia’s reserves following its invasion of Ukraine. This represents nearly one-half of the “Fortress Russia” foreign currency war chest that Putin accumulated after the annexation of Crimea in 2014. What is to become of these frozen assets?
The assets remain the property of Russia, even if Russia is unable to withdraw or transfer the assets until the sanctions are lifted. But many would argue that the only logical and moral use for this money is partially to recompense Ukraine for the damage it is enduring as a result of Russia’s invasion. Others may think that at least some of the money should be applied to pay for the military and humanitarian assistance that western powers are providing to Ukraine.
Lee Buchheit & G. Mitu Gulati, Alphaville’s guide to seizing Russian assets, Financial Times ( (March 29, 2022).