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Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has called for Western allies to quickly collaborate on possibly leveraging frozen Russian assets to support Ukraine.

Speaking ahead of her meetings with G7 and G20 counterparts, Yellen pointed out that the US and its allies are exploring various options for the $285 billion in Russian assets frozen in 2022, with recommendations expected by June. She said, “We don’t have a preferred strategy for how to do this. We want the G7 and our allies to act together.”


Addressing potential concerns, Yellen downplayed the risk that seizing Russian assets could undermine major global currencies. She said, “I believe the G7 should work together to explore the number of approaches that have been suggested for unlocking their economic values.” Yellen also suggested possibilities like seizing assets or using them as collateral.

Yellen also highlighted the importance of legal and coordinated action among G7 nations, emphasizing the need to comply with both domestic laws and international law. She mentioned a countermeasures theory with strong justification in international law, indicating a systematic approach to utilizing the frozen assets. “There is a strong international law, economic and moral case” for deriving value from Russian assets, Yellen argued, pointing out the potential to incentivize Moscow towards negotiating peace with Ukraine.


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