Making Russia pay

The confiscation and use of frozen assets: the next step for sanctions regimes against Russia?

Across the globe, Western governments have been considering how, once the war in Ukraine is over, that country may be rebuilt and the damage caused by months of fighting repaired. Reconstruction costs are already estimated to be in the region of $400 billion, with some saying they may reach as much as a $1 trillion. It is accepted that Ukraine will not be able to repair the damage to its country on its own.

In November 2022, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution calling for Russia to make reparations for its action against Ukraine and tasked states with establishing an international solution to compensate the damage, loss and injury sustained. As governments across the world consider how to “make Russia pay”, we look at the legal and practical challenges in using confiscated and frozen Russian assets to fund the reconstruction of Ukraine.