WRMC Statement: G7 to loan US$50 billion to Ukraine using profits from Russian frozen assets

Statement from World Refugee & Migration Council Chair Lloyd Axworthy and President Fen Osler Hampson

The World Refugee & Migration Council (WRMC) welcomes the decision of the G7 to extend a 50 billion dollar loan to Ukraine, which will be underwritten by the earnings of Russian assets that have been frozen by G7 countries and the European Union.

We also applaud the leadership role Canada has played in the negotiations leading up to this decision and the thought leadership provided by our officials, especially Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, in getting our G7 partners to agree to use Russian assets to support Ukraine.

Canada has led on this file internationally since the war began when it introduced and passed legislation giving the government the authority to seize and repurpose Russian assets held in Canada. It also took the difficult decision to seize the assets of Russians in two cases which are now before the Canadian courts.

The WRMC has played a critical role in supporting Canada’s thought leadership on this issue through its Task Force Against Global Corruption, multiple policy papers, and written and in-person submissions by WRMC leadership to parliamentary committees. The WRMC has also supported efforts by independent Senator Ratna Omidvar, a WRMC member, who introduced the initial framing for confiscatory legislation in the Canadian Senate. More recently, our work on how to collateralize Russian assets through various mechanisms such as direct loans or a special purpose vehicle mechanism that would issue bonds to support Ukraine have fed into international policy discussions.

We welcome the G7 decision but also recognize that much more work needs to be done. Accordingly, we remain ready to offer ideas and proposals that will help the people and government of Ukraine fight for their country’s survival and secure their future in the face of Russia’s aggression and the untold destruction of their country.

The World Refugee & Migration Council (wrmcouncil.org) offers bold strategic thinking and proposes concrete actions for how the international community can comprehensively respond to refugees and the forcibly displaced through the principles of international cooperation and responsibility sharing. Chaired by former Canadian Foreign Minister Lloyd Axworthy, Council members include leaders, practitioners and innovators from developing and developed countries across the globe.