3. In a blog on Völkerrechtsblog, you conclude that confiscation of Russian state assets by third countries would be a legitimate measure of (collective) self-defense. However, some comments in the EU, in particular by Ursula von der Leyen, speak only about the possibility of transferring to Ukraine the profit from the use of the frozen assets of the Russian Central Bank, instead of their confiscation. In your opinion, why is the EU taking a less decisive position today?
The EU and the rest of Ukraine's allies want to remain within the legal field and are still worried not only about their relations with Russia, but also about other states keeping their foreign assets in euros or dollars. A separate powerful player here is Switzerland, which largely dictates the rules of the game for the EU and the whole world. They do not want to confiscate Russian state and private assets, or even disclose information about them. Surprisingly, until now there is no complete and reliable data on Russian state assets and their previous use, that is, the history before they were "frozen" due to sanctions. Therefore, the EU says about the possibility of such palliative measures which, although they violate international law, are not serious; they will help Ukraine, but also not very much, namely by several billions per year, with a total need for recovery of more than 300 billions. In my opinion, this decision will not be the most successful. Russia will appeal it if it wants, as well as the decision on the confiscation of assets, and unfortunately, these funds will not help Ukraine to fully recover and prevail. However, frankly speaking, we should not expect other, more radical decisions regarding Russian state assets from the EU in the near future, despite the fact that there are legal grounds for this. This is collective self-defense, mentioned in the same Article 51 of the UN Charter, that is, the right to defend oneself not only by the state under attack, but collectively. This protection can take different forms – from joint armed resistance, to assistance in a non-military way, without each of the states receiving the status of a party to a conflict. Such a scenario could currently work with Ukraine. To confiscate assets, for example, in the EU and to transfer them to Ukraine to finance legitimate defense. However, both the USA and the EU countries hesitate to explicitly call their aid to Ukraine "collective self-defense." States also have the right to take countermeasures, including collective ones, as a reaction to Russia's violation of international law. This is a different doctrine, it has certain limitations in its application. Thus, there are legal grounds, but there is a lack of political will.