Why and How the West Should Seize Russia’s Sovereign Assets to Help Rebuild Ukraine: Working Paper No 15
4 September 2023
This working paper is a revision and update of our Working Paper #6 of October 2022 on confiscating Russia’s sovereign assets to help rebuild Ukraine, which argued that the Western countries that harbored Russian Central Bank assets should confiscate them and use them as war reparations for Ukraine. Since then, a substantial debate has evolved. Our aim is not to report on the debate, but to draw the relevant policy conclusions on what the West should do, why, and how. Among the many articles and papers that have been published on this topic, this working paper relies primarily on two, namely the article by Lawrence Summers, Philip Zelikow, and Robert Zoellick, “The Other Counteroffensive to Save Ukraine,” Foreign Affairs, June 15, 2023, and the policy paper “Multilateral Asset Transfer: A Proposal for Ensuring Reparations for Ukraine,” New Lines Institute, Washington, DC, June 2023, with Yuliya Ziskina as the principal author and Philip Zelikow as the principal advisor. Our aim is to offer a clear policy brief on how to proceed.