This coincides with the trend of Estonia, one of the Baltic states, to adopt a law that allows the confiscation of Russian assets, which Moscow considered in statements through Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova "a malicious idea."

Last week, Washington announced that it had transferred financial assets confiscated from Russian businessmen to Ukraine, igniting a different kind of battle between Russia on the one hand and America and the West on the other over assets.

Years of confiscation

The total Russian assets seized amount to the equivalent of $322 billion from the reserves of the Russian Central Bank, and tens of billions of frozen assets of Russian citizens under Western sanctions.

Former member of the Russian Duma (parliament) and an expert in international politics Yevgeny Vycheslav says the confiscation of funds and assets between Russia and Ukraine is not new, but dates back to 2015.

He adds in an interview with Sky News Arabia: "Ukraine began at that time to work on complicating the mechanisms of work of the Russian banking sector in Kiev, and things worsened further with the accession of Crimea to Russia, which of course resulted in the confiscation of several Ukrainian sectors and companies, and the crisis worsened and still exists after it was adopted by Western countries and other Baltic countries."

"The crisis of confiscating funds and assets between Russia and Ukraine is a facet of the war, because the countries supporting Ukraine (America and Western countries) have issued recommendations to confiscate property, sectors, yachts and homes of individuals and entities estimated at 360 billion euros, belonging to Russians who fall under sanctions," Vycheslav said.

He also touched on "gradual steps taken by European countries towards controlling Russian funds and capabilities," explaining:

  • "There are no unified or unilateral European laws that allow the confiscation of Russian funds, because they are steps that violate international law."
  • "Western countries have covered the confiscation of funds belonging to the Central Bank of Russia that they will invest in the reconstruction of Ukraine."
  • "The Baltic states, including Estonia, are leading a trend to confiscate millions of Russian funds by creating a domestic law."
  • "Moscow shall protect the funds, entities and investments of Western countries on its territory, in compliance with the Charter of International Law without persecution."

Reconstruction funds. and a legitimate cover

In the same context, economic researcher and advisor to the Arab Center for Studies Abu Bakr al-Deeb says that the reconstruction of Ukraine will require tens of billions of dollars, and therefore the announcement by Washington and NATO countries to use Russian assets and funds in reconstruction is economically unconvincing.

Al-Deeb added in an interview with Sky News Arabia, that "some of the confiscated funds were facades for businessmen and it is normal in wars that there are funds that feed intelligence activities, and it is fixed from the economic indicators that the weapon of Western sanctions has not significantly affected Russia so far, as it is still continuing in the war without economic collapse, and there are Western assessments that confirm that sanctions against Russia have not achieved the desired purpose."

Al-Deeb touched on a number of results that Washington and Western countries want to reach, behind the steps to confiscate Russia's funds and assets, including:

  • "Exerting political and economic pressure on Moscow in front of elites and businessmen with confiscated funds."
  • "The announcement of the use of confiscated funds in the reconstruction of Ukraine is an attempt to justify Western steps in a form acceptable to the international community."
  • "The use of Moscow's funds to restore the effects of the war in Ukraine is a kind of new sanctions against Russia."