0746 GMT October 06, 2022
Russia’s relations with the West have deteriorated sharply since Moscow sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24, for a “special military operation”.
The West imposed unprecedented economic, financial and diplomatic sanctions, including freezing around half of Russia’s gold and foreign exchange reserves that stood near $640 billion before Feb. 24, Reuters reported.
Top Western officials, including European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, have suggested seizing the frozen reserves to help fund the future reconstruction of Ukraine.
“We warn the Americans of the detrimental consequences of such actions that will permanently damage bilateral relations, which is neither in their interests nor in ours,” Alexander Darchiev told TASS in an interview. It was not immediately clear which assets he was referring to.
The United States and its European allies have also frozen $30 billion of assets held by wealthy individuals with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, including yachts, helicopters, real estate and art, according to the U.S. administration.
The U.S. Department of Justice was seeking broader authority from Congress to seize Russian businessmen’s assets as a means to pressure Moscow over its military action in Ukraine, a prosecutor said in July.
Darchiev also said that Russia warned the United States that diplomatic ties would be badly damaged and could even be broken if Russia is declared a state sponsor of terrorism.