EU countries discussing issue of using Russia's frozen assets, working group to meet on Sept 27 – EC

The European Commission (EC) is working together with the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the EU on a strategy for using Russian state assets frozen in the European Union, EC Spokesman Christian Wiegand said.

The spokesman said at a briefing in Brussels on Thursday this is about more than EUR 200 billion of assets. Work on this issue was discussed at the last EU summit in June. He said they are working with the Spanish presidency to implement a phased strategy and are ready to participate in discussions on this issue.

The EC representative said there is a joint document between the European External Action Service and the European Commission, which was presented to the Spanish Presidency at the end of July. The commission is ready to propose a draft legal text that takes into account the content of discussions with member states.

He said that EU member states had begun exchanging views on this issue within a working group established for this purpose by the Spanish presidency, the last meeting of which took place on September 13.

Wiegand said a considerable number of member states agree that it would be possible to introduce a payment model for Ukraine, which would function step by step.

He acknowledged that this is a complex matter that requires more extensive discussion before an acceptable proposal can be formulated.

The representative of the European Commission said discussions with member states continue in light of the upcoming meeting of the working group, which will meet on September 27.