Yellen Responds To Putin Theft Assertion: “There’s No Legal Issue Here”

( – Russia has faced a host of sanctions since it invaded Ukraine in February 2022. Over the years, as President Vladimir Putin’s troops have continued their aggression, the country has seen even more fallout. Most of the country’s assets in foreign banks have been frozen, including approximately $200 billion that’s sitting in a Belgian institution. In a recent Group of 7 (G7) summit, world leaders voted to use those assets to issue a large loan to Ukraine. Russia is now accusing the West of theft and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has responded to those allegations.

Yellen recently appeared on ABC’s “This Week,” where she gave an exclusive interview. During the conversation, she was asked about Russia’s accusation that the money being loaned to Ukraine off the back of Russia’s assets equates to theft.

The Treasury secretary said that as a result of the country’s “brutal invasion of Ukraine,” the United States and its partners “decided to freeze and impound Russian sovereign assets in our jurisdiction.” That sum, she said, came out to be around $280 million. The bulk of the money, Yellen noted, is generated from interest. Interest that does not belong to Moscow. So, the G7 leaders had a discussion and decided to use $50 billion of it—as a loan to Ukraine—to help the war-torn country rebuild.

Putin, on the other hand, sees things differently. He said it amounts to nothing more than “theft,” and it’s an action that “will not go unpunished.”

Yellen explained that since the assets are now under the West’s control after being impounded, the investments have since matured, and as such, “they’re generating income for the institution.” This income, she says, Russia has no claim to. Yellen assured the public that “there’s no legal issue here,” and Putin’s assertions that the “coalition will crumble” and stop providing Ukraine with aid are flat-out wrong.

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