Sep 7, 2022
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Appetites of expropriators grow

Zelensky, prompted by Washington, offers Russians to learn the words “reparations” and “contributions”

The first wave of sanctions by the collective West against Russia was characterized by massive “freezes” of various assets of Russian origin – the foreign exchange reserves of the Russian Federation in the amount of over $300 billion (this is above all); foreign assets of Russian banks and companies that were blacklisted; real estate, bank accounts and other property of individuals included in the same “black lists”. The word “freeze” (arrest, blocking) means that the owner of the asset is deprived of the opportunity to dispose of it, although it does not lose the right of ownership.

Today, there is no hope for a “defrost”. The collective West wants to confiscate the “frozen” assets, in other words, steal them. However, the expropriation of Russian assets would create a precedent for violating the “sacred right of property”, and this could destroy the foundations of Western (capitalist) society in a short time. Many in the West are afraid of the expropriation of Russian property as “undermining the foundation.” Ways are being sought to carry out confiscation bypassing, without an appropriate legal basis.

So, Christia FreelandAt a financial summit in Germany in May, Canada’s finance minister and deputy prime minister suggested selling a kind of indulgence to Russian oligarchs. The bottom line is this: the collective West creates a special fund to help restore the Ukrainian economy destroyed by Russia. Russian oligarchs will be asked to contribute to this fund. If the contributions are considered sufficient, the West will be ready to remove such rich Russians from the “black lists” and promise not to put them on such lists in the future. One of the first to show how to buy “indulgences” was Roman Abramovich. In May, he signed a deal to sell Chelsea Football Club to a consortium led by an American billionaire. Todd Bowles for £4.25bn and said that £2.5bn of the deal would go to help “victims of the war”.

And here’s another option. Prompted by Washington Vladimir Zelensky. Bottom line: Ukraine suffers heavy material losses in the war. Russia is the culprit of these losses, it must cover the losses with the help of reparations. Reparations were levied by the Entente from Germany following the results of the First World War; they were levied from Germany and its allies following the results of the Second World War. Kyiv’s reparation demands on Moscow may become a “legal alibi” for the West for confiscation. Like, the West does not violate the “sacred right of property”, but helps Kyiv receive reparations to restore the destroyed Ukrainian economy.

Zelensky says: “We will restore every house, every street, every city, and we say to Russia: learn the word “reparations” and “contributions”, you will compensate everything that you have done against our country, against every Ukrainian in full.”

Kyiv has repeatedly announced the figure of damage from the war: one trillion dollars. On the territory of Ukraine itself, Kyiv has long been confiscating Russian assets, but their amount is unlikely to be even one percent of the named figure. The rest, probably, should be helped by the collective West. On May 3, Zelensky said that since Ukraine is “fighting for the whole of Europe,” European states “should understand this and help restore” Ukrainian territory. On May 20, he suggested that the partner states sign an international treaty, according to which Russia’s foreign property should be confiscated and then transferred to the Ukraine support fund.

With these “forced reparations”, Kyiv is supposed to pay for the supply of necessary goods and construction work during the restoration of the economy. So the topic of reparations from Russia is equally interesting for both Ukraine and the collective West.

The topic is not new. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, a number of countries put forward claims to Moscow for damages. The main part of the claims that have been presented to the Russian Federation for the last thirty years, falls on the states that were part of the USSR. First of all, these are Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Moldova. In the spring of 2014, Ukraine joined this campaign after Crimea became part of Russia. In April of the same year, the Minister of Justice of Ukraine stated: “The Ministry of Justice has summarized information from our ministries and departments on the losses caused by the occupation of Crimea, and the total amount of these losses is 950 billion hryvnias. This amount does not include lost profits, which will be charged additionally”. The minister clarified that this amount also does not include the cost of minerals and deposits in the sea shelf. Soon it was already 1.08 trillion, then – 1.18 trillion. hryvnia The amount was periodically revised upwards. In July 2014, Minister of Energy and Coal Industry Yuri Prodan said that Ukraine’s loss from the loss of energy facilities in Crimea, including hydrocarbon reserves on the shelf, is estimated at $ 300 billion. If we summarize everything, it turns out that Kyiv expects compensation from Moscow in the amount of as much as $ 400 billion.

From year to year, Ukrainian politicians and officials are reminded of their claims. Last summer, the Kyiv-based Center for Economic Strategy published a note “Assessment of Ukraine’s Economic Losses from the Temporary Occupation of the Crimean Peninsula.” The conclusions there are striking: it turns out that Ukraine’s economic losses from the “temporary occupation of Crimea” have already amounted to over $135 billion. This is almost 87% of Ukraine’s GDP in 2020.

The former Soviet republics with their claims to Russia as the legal successor of the USSR for the “Soviet occupation” can be very useful to the world expropriators. In the middle of the last decade, the claims of the three Baltic republics and Moldova, according to my estimates, amounted to about half a trillion dollars (Katasonov V.Yu. Russia in the world of reparations. – M .: Oxygen, 2015). Today, the reparation appetites of our neighbors have grown. Back in the middle of the last decade, I warned that Russia urgently needed to withdraw its foreign assets to safe zones, which at any moment could be under the sword of Damocles of Western sanctions and confiscations. That’s how it all happens.

On September 1, the Poles presented a gigantic reparation bill to Germany in the amount equivalent to 1.3 trillion dollars. They also keep Russia under reparations. Like, the USSR is to blame for the fact that Warsaw did not receive the compensation due to it from the GDR. Like, in 1953 Moscow put pressure on Warsaw and offered to refuse further reparation transfers from the GDR. And now Moscow must turn on behalf of Warsaw to Berlin and claim what is missing. And if Berlin refuses, then Moscow must bear subsidiary responsibility and pay those gigantic sums that Berlin owes Warsaw.

The resourceful Poles are preparing another bill for Moscow: “claims for Soviet aggression and occupation.” In August, a deputy from Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party Arkadiusz Mulyarchik gave an interview to the publication Republic. He went further than the Balts. The latter speak of reparations only for the “Soviet occupation”. And the Polish politician spoke about the damage allegedly inflicted on Poland during the war. It turns out that the Soviet army did not liberate Poland in 1944-45, but “caused damage to it.”

The sanctions war will eventually turn into a war of reparations. And reparations claims are a much longer-term instrument of war against Russia, they work like time bombs.

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