The US, along with its G7 and EU allies, has been unlawfully seizing Russian assets under the guise of sanctions, Dmitry Peskov says
The seizure of Russian state assets and reserves and those of its citizens, by Western countries, should be perceived as outright theft, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov has insisted.
He made the statement during a press briefing on Thursday, having been asked about Russian investors' intentions to prepare a class action lawsuit to unlock the frozen assets.
"In different ways, but the government and the entrepreneurs have been robbed by the West," he stated.
According to Peskov, the Russian government and the country's businesses are looking for ways to protect their interests and return the seized assets, though that is likely to be a very long and difficult process.
Peskov noted that Russian entrepreneurs are limited in their rights in EU courts, while the efforts to defend their rights are absolutely justified and should be continued.
Moscow has been hit by multiple waves of Western sanctions since the conflict with Ukraine broke out last February. European Commission spokesman, Christian Wiegand, said recently that as of mid-May, EU countries had frozen more than €200 billion ($215 billion) in assets belonging to the Bank of Russia, as well as over $25 billion in private funds. He argued that the European Union had a legal avenue allowing it to seize frozen Russian assets and use them for the subsequent reconstruction of Ukraine.
Moscow has described Western attempts to transfer the seized assets to Ukraine as "barbarism," and "theft" that violate international law. The Kremlin has also warned that Russia will respond in kind if necessary.
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