stiglitz327_SERGEI SUPINSKYAFP via Getty Images_ukraine damage SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP via Getty Images

Seizing Russia’s Frozen Assets Is the Right Move

While policymakers in the United States and Europe are wary of using confiscated Russian assets to support Ukraine’s war effort and reconstruction, their concerns are, at best, misguided. Ukraine urgently needs these funds to win the war, and failing to make these resources available now is unconscionable.

NEW YORK – As Russia’s war against Ukraine continues to wreak havoc both regionally and globally, the Ukrainian people and their allies demonstrate remarkable determination and courage. But nearly two years after Russia launched its full-scale invasion, it is increasingly clear that the international community can and must do much more to help.

While the G7 countries and other governments around the world have been extraordinarily generous in supporting the Ukrainian war effort, there are signs of growing fatigue in some circles – a development Russia appears to have anticipated. With the United States and the European Union failing to commit more than $100 billion in aid to Ukraine in December, the idea of seizing Russian assets frozen by Western countries has re-emerged as a potential solution.

Although seizing these assets would boost Ukrainian morale and finances, policymakers on both sides of the Atlantic are wary. As The New York Times recently reported, top US officials fear that setting such a precedent would deter other countries from depositing their funds at the New York Federal Reserve or holding them in dollars.