Russia Warns of ‘Harsh Response’ If Assets Are Seized Abroad

In a statement released on April 28th, Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for Russia’s foreign ministry, cautioned Western nations against the seizure of Russian assets.

Zakharova cited an article stating that Germany is pushing to keep Russia’s frozen assets intact. This would allow Germany to use them as leverage to get Russia to withdraw its invasion of Ukraine.

Seizing Russian state assets situated in the United States and using them to help Ukraine is one of the many provisions in the massive U.S. assistance deal for Ukraine and other US partners that Biden approved recently.

Some worry that the REPO Act would undermine the dollar’s position as the world’s leading currency by turning international finance into a weapon against Russia.  If Russia’s assets are sequestered, countries like China, which holds more U.S. Treasuries than any other country, may decide it’s unsafe to store their reserves in dollars.

According to Zakharova, Russia would not give up its land. She also warned of a severe reaction from Russia if Western nations grab its assets.

Zakharova said on social media that assets remain unchanged on the territory, regardless of who says what. We do not trade our motherland.  And if Western nations dare steal from Russia, the country’s assets will be severely punished. This is something that many people in the West are already aware of.

U.S. and allied forces have frozen three hundred billion dollars in Russian overseas assets, including $5 billion located in the U.S. at the outbreak of the war.

However, the United States is unlikely to take the assets without the consent of other G7 and EU countries, even if doing so may result in an additional $5 billion in aid for Ukraine.

Profits from the freezing of Russian central bank property have already started to trickle into the European Union’s coffers. According to the bloc’s calculations, that sum could generate almost $3.3 billion a year in interest payments.

The idea of officially taking Russian assets in Europe has not been without its detractors among European politicians.