Confiscation of 280 billion euros of Russian assets: Belgian PM urges the need for a clear confiscation mechanism

Belgium as such is not against the confiscation of frozen assets of the Russian Central Bank, but Belgian PM Alexander De Croo warns of certain risks.

During the Davos Economic Forum, De Croo said that Belgium is ready to discuss assets confiscation mechanisms and interest rates on these assets.

However, De Croo expressed his uncertainty about the stability of the global financial system because central banks often place assets in each other.

“We are open to further discussion and are ready to participate in solving the issue of finding a legal basis for these transfers to Ukraine without destabilizing the global financial system”, said Belgian PM.

The problem is that that the largest share of Russian assets is frozen in the Euroclear depository, located in Brussels.

“We are not saying that there is not assets confiscation (the possibility of such confiscation – ed.). But we need to work out the mechanism. For example, they (the confiscated assets – ed.) can be used as collateral to attract funds for Ukraine”, – said De Croo. Some securities have a maturity date, and thus are converted into cash later. This transaction is taxed at a rate of 25%.

“If there is any taxable income, we will isolate it so that it can go to Ukraine”, – De Croo said.

Based on the information from the Prime Minister of Belgium, the tax on frozen assets in 2023 amounted to around 1.3 billion euros, and in 2024 it will amount to about 1.7 billion euros.