U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen speaks during a press conference at the U.S. embassy in Beijing, China, July 9, 2023. REUTERS/Thomas Peter
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has voiced support for a European Union plan to impose a windfall tax on profits generated by frozen Russian sovereign assets, calling it a “sensible” way to help finance the reconstruction of Ukraine, a Treasury spokesperson said on Thursday.
Yellen, who discussed frozen Russian assets with Ukrainian officials during her visit to Kyiv in February, told Bloomberg News reporters and editors that Washington was discussing the idea with the EU, the spokesperson said.
Yellen has repeatedly voiced support for Ukrainian demands that Russia should pay for the damage it has done to Ukraine, but has also pointed to significant legal obstacles halting moves to fully seize the $300 billion in Russian central bank assets frozen by sanctions.
No details were immediately available.
EU officials have estimated that the windfall profit from Russia’s frozen assets in Europe could provide 3 billion euro ($3.27 billion) a year to rebuild Ukraine.