Charles Michel calls for confiscation of sanctioned Russian assets – POLITICO

European Council President Charles Michel said he wanted EU countries to seize sanctioned assets to make Russia pay for its war damage to Ukraine.

Michel stated his hope of seizing the sanctioned assets – totaling tens of billions in cash, real estate, yachts and other property an interview with the news service Interfax-Ukraine published on Thursday. Michel acknowledged that such confiscations would entail an extremely difficult legal process in the national legal systems of all 27 member countries, and he gave no indication of how this might be done.

Michel’s comments echoed a Suggestion proposed last week by US President Joe Biden to streamline the seizure and forfeiture of sanctioned assets of Russian oligarchs.

“Personally, I am absolutely convinced that this is extremely important, not only to freeze assets, but also to enable confiscations,” said Michel in an interview. “It’s a matter of fairness, in my opinion,” he added, “to make this money available … especially for the rebuilding of the country. It’s a matter of fairness, a matter of justice.”

In the interview, Michel said he had asked the Council’s Legal Service to “come up with some ideas to find a rule of law solution that would facilitate and allow for the confiscation of people’s assets that would be sanctioned by the EU or other countries in the world.” .”

But it was far from clear that even the best lawyers in the EU would find a magical solution.

While EU countries collectively decide what sanctions to impose and against whom, the measures are implemented at the national level, where they are subject to national laws and legal challenges. Sanctions can also be challenged in the European Union’s Court of Justice, where the EU has often lost such cases. Officials with fickle reputations, such as former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, have won lawsuits related to sanctions against the EU.

“It takes time,” Michel admitted in an interview. “It’s a difficult and lengthy process.” Charles Michel calls for confiscation of sanctioned Russian assets - POLITICO

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