Russia's Warning to the West: We're Prepared for Retaliation if Assets Are Seized

The speaker of the upper house of the Russian parliament, Valentina Matviyenko, warned Europe today that Russia has already written a law to retaliate if the West seizes almost 300 billion dollars of Russian assets

by Sededin Dedovic
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Russia's Warning to the West: We're Prepared for Retaliation if Assets Are Seized
© Drew Angerer / getty Images

The Speaker of the Upper House of the Russian Parliament, Valentina Matviyenko, issued a strong warning to Europe today, indicating that Russia has already prepared legal retaliatory measures in the event that the West seizes almost $300 billion worth of Russian assets in order to use them to help Ukraine.

"We have ready answers. The draft law on retaliatory measures is ready and we are ready to consider it immediately. Europeans will be the ones who will suffer greater losses," Matviyenko said, without revealing details, according to RIA News Agency.

Matviyenko is also a member of Russia's powerful Security Council. After President Vladimir Putin sent troops into Ukraine in 2022, the United States and its allies imposed sanctions on Russia's central bank and finance ministry, freezing about $300 billion in Russian assets in the West.

Top officials in the United States want to seize these assets to help Ukraine, although some bankers and European officials are concerned about the possible consequences of such a move, Reuters reports. The US House of Representatives passed a bill on Saturday that includes a provision that allows for the seizure of Russian assets, even though most of those assets are located in Europe, not the United States.

The REPO bill, which would have authorized Biden to confiscate frozen Russian assets in American banks and transfer them to a special fund for Ukraine, is part of a foreign aid package that has been stalled in the House of Representatives for months.

More than $6 billion of the $300 billion in frozen Russian assets is in American banks. Most of the $300 billion is in Germany, France and Belgium. the story of the confiscation of Russian assets emerged last year and was hotly contested by economists and foreign policy experts.

In a recent op-ed in the New York Times, Christopher Caldwell argued that it is a "terrible idea" to confiscate Russian funds because other countries might stop investing in the US, which could negatively affect the economy in the long run.

“This could weaken the dollar's status as the main global reserve currency. "The dollar is probably the most valuable strategic asset the United States has," Caldwell said.

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