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Why hasn’t the West seized Russia’s frozen sovereign assets?

48 minutes
Why hasn’t the West seized Russia’s frozen sovereign assets?

The U.S. government is reportedly becoming more “assertive” about backing the confiscation of roughly $300 billion in frozen Russian sovereign assets to provide an alternative funding stream for Kyiv. The news comes amid faltering efforts in Europe and Washington to approve the budgetary allocations needed to sustain aid for Ukraine, which presumably makes it even more attractive to force Russia to foot the bill. Kyiv’s most ardent supporters in the West say the seizure of the immobilized Russian state assets is long overdue. In fact, that the seizure hasn’t happened already is both alarming and confounding to many people.

To understand what’s keeping the West from grabbing this Russian money and what it will take for the confiscation to go ahead, Meduza spoke to journalist, economist, and political analyst Alexander Kolyandr and welcomed back Maximilian Hess, the founder of Enmetena Advisory and a fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, and the author of “Economic War: Ukraine and the Global Conflict Between Russia and the West.”

Timestamps for this episode

  • (4:33) What and where are these frozen Russian assets?
  • (8:46) Confiscation’s potential impact on the world economy
  • (12:41) Implications for Western countries
  • (14:55) Understanding the resistance to confiscation
  • (36:09) Barriers to asset confiscation

New episodes of The Naked Pravda are released at the end of every week. Catch each show by subscribing through Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts, or one of these other platforms. If you have a question or comment about the podcast, please write to Kevin Rothrock at [email protected] with the subject line: “The Naked Pravda.”

Sound editing by Kevin Rothrock.

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