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G7 mulling Russian asset seizures to help rebuild Ukraine - German Finance Minister

G7 mulling Russian asset seizures to help rebuild Ukraine - German Finance Minister

Germany's Finance Minister Christian Lindner addresses a news conference after the G7 Summit in Koenigswinter, near Bonn, Germany May 20, 2022. REUTERS/Benjamin Westhoff

BERLIN :Seizing Russian state assets to help finance the rebuilding of war-torn Ukraine remains a possibility, German Finance Minister Christian Lindner said on Friday, but he added that no decision on the matter was taken at a meeting with his G7 counterparts.

"We talked about the continuation of sanctions in connection with Ukraine and discussed the issue of the confiscation of Russian assets," Lindner said, wrapping up day two of the talks.

Referring to seizing Russian state assets, he said: "It is an option that still needs to be thought through."

Canadian Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland told reporters the G7 discussed "at some length" the idea of seizing Russian assets and using them to help pay for the reconstruction of Ukraine.

Canada is in the process of passing a law to be able to confiscate Russian assets that it has seized and funnel the money back to Ukraine for reconstruction.

"Countries broadly were in the same position as Canada, which is they did not have the legislative authority to actually confiscate assets. The authority that we had previously would freeze the assets," she said.

"There was a lot of interest from other G7 partners in the Canadian legislation, lots of questions about it," Freeland told Canadian reporters in a call from Munich.

(Reporting by Paul Carrel and Rachel More, and by Julie Gordon and Steve Scherer)

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