The funds for Ukraine assistance will be exhausted, and the United States is eyeing Russia's Central Bank's $300 billion overseas assets. Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister issues a "severing ties" warning. How should this be evaluated?

(Observer Network News) On November 16th this year, Russian-American diplomacy marked a special day: the 90th anniversary of US-Soviet diplomatic relations. However, Russia and the United States are currently experiencing a severe crisis in their relationship. Sergei Ryabkov, Deputy Foreign Minister of the Russian Foreign Ministry, had previously warned that the two countries' relationship “is at risk of being severed at any time,” and one of the possible “red lines” is the confiscation of frozen Russian assets by the United States. Several Western media outlets have reported that, due to the imminent depletion of funds for Ukraine assistance, the United States is “making calculations” regarding the approximately $300 billion in frozen assets of the Russian Central Bank, with urgent negotiations with allied countries on the use of these funds for aid to Ukraine. The Financial Times of the United Kingdom warned in its editorial that, due to a lack of legal legitimacy, some European Union countries do not support this idea, and such an action could set a dangerous precedent and disrupt the global financial architecture. On December 22nd local time, Ryabkov reiterated in an interview with the International Information Telegraph Agency (Interfax) that if the United States seizes Russian assets frozen on the pretext of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Russia may sever diplomatic relations with the United States. He stated that apart from this, many things could become the “fuse” for the complete rupture of Russian-American relations, and Russia is “prepared for any scenario.” “Diplomatic relations are not some totem to be worshipped or a sacred object to be protected by everyone,” he warned. He also cautioned that the United States should not have the illusion that Russia is holding onto diplomatic relations with the United States as tightly as it claims. [The United States eyes Russia’s Central Bank’s $300 billion in overseas assets; Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister issues a “severing ties” warning (]

The provided paragraphs are written in Chinese. Here is the translation in English:

“I support the United States confiscating Russian assets, whether they are personal or national.

It’s quite simple; it’s a good opportunity to re-educate those ‘borderless’ wealthy people in China. These tycoons, who thrived since the economic opening, hardly any of them are without original sin; in fact, these sins are sufficient to target them multiple times. So they constantly think about transferring their assets to Europe and America, dreaming of the inviolability of personal assets in the West.

Let Europe and America give them a good lesson.

The paragraphs provided are in Chinese. Here is the translation in English:

“The Ministry of Commerce, the National Bureau of Statistics, and the State Administration of Foreign Exchange of China jointly issued the ‘Statistical Bulletin of China’s Outward Direct Investment in 2022.’ The announcement shows that by the end of 2022, China’s stock of overseas direct investment reached $2.75 trillion.

The $2.75 trillion is spread across 190 countries and regions globally, involving about 47,000 overseas enterprises. Among these, nearly 60% are distributed in Asia, 13% in North America, 10.2% in Europe, 7.9% in Latin America, 7.1% in Africa, and 2.6% in Oceania.

The $2.75 trillion refers only to corporate entity investments and does not include domestic to overseas indirect investments, private investments, or financial assets. If national foreign exchange reserves and foreign exchange assets held by domestic residents are added, the figure is close to $9 trillion.

The United States targeting Russia’s $300 billion in overseas assets is relatively small compared to our country’s figures. Even just considering the $2.75 trillion, it only accounts for one-ninth.

Another figure we need to be aware of is that American assets in China are about $2.2 trillion. From this perspective, does the United States have the courage to freeze Chinese overseas assets?

Most of Russia’s overseas assets are in Europe, and at the same time, Europe has much more assets in Russia than the United States does. According to unconfirmed reports, Western assets in Russia might exceed $500 billion. This is why some countries are vociferously calling for the freezing of Russian assets: because these countries have little investment in Russia but can still benefit from such actions.

Currently, we need to observe whether the West will really take such actions, how they will do it, and whether they end up doing it or not, it will provide us with experience to prepare for future scenarios where we might face similar actions.

The paragraphs provided are in Chinese. Here is the translation in English:

“Russia doesn’t have as much overseas assets in the United States; the $300 billion refers to the total of Russian assets in the U.S. and European countries.

This means if the U.S. wants to seize all of these $300 billion, it would need to coordinate with Europe or the EU. According to statistics from 2022, the U.S. only holds about $38 billion of Russian assets, and this figure is not likely to change significantly this year, as everything that could have been frozen last year has already been done.

By comparison, EU countries (including the UK) have frozen $169 billion of Russian assets.

In other words, the U.S. now wants to use its own $38 billion as bait to leverage assets from the EU, which has five times more than the U.S., making it a significantly profitable deal.

Interestingly, Europe’s assets in Russia far exceed America’s — by a lot.

So if the U.S. and Russia were to seize each other’s assets, the U.S. wouldn’t lose much; after all, Russia has never been a primary investment destination for American companies over the years.

However, the EU, particularly France and Germany, especially Germany with its many factories in Russia, have been the primary investors in Russia over the years. If assets were to be mutually seized, Germany would be the most unfortunate within the EU.

For example, last year Russia froze some of the German assets in Russia, and there were rumors that they seized Volkswagen’s factories, but these rumors were not confirmed. What’s certain is that if the EU seizes Russian assets, German assets in Russia will definitely be seized equivalently.

Thus, Germany has always opposed the seizure of Russian assets. Although a few days ago, German prosecutors attempted to transfer €720 million of frozen Russian assets, the attempt was unsuccessful.

The U.S.’s strategy is very much like the famous line from the movie “Let the Bullets Fly”: ‘EU’s money is split seventy-thirty, while the U.S.’s money is returned in full…’

First, a side note: On December 15, 2023, multiple American media outlets reported that White House Science Advisor Francis Shapleigh had fallen victim to fraud, resulting in the loss of all his savings. Subsequently, he faced bankruptcy due to additional taxation by the Internal Revenue Service.

The main criticism in this case lies in the fact that the withdrawal of funds from the victim’s account due to fraud is considered as income, and therefore, subject to taxation. In other words, the U.S. government, despite knowing that the victim was under the control of scammers, is still prosecuting this scientist and enforcing hundreds of thousands in taxes, all while loudly proclaiming “justice is blind.”

This news may seem unrelated to the issue at hand, but it actually underscores a point: Americans take their finances seriously, whether it’s concerning their own citizens, allies, or adversaries.

Returning to the main topic, the Russian news agency Sputnik aptly points out: The United States and Europe have been expropriating assets that do not belong to them, causing a loss of trust from the rightful owners. The confiscation of property, seizure of aircraft, assets, and sanctions against Russian businessmen all indicate that the sanctity of private property has collapsed in the West, and doing business there has become perilous.

If confiscating private property represents Western Credit Default Version 1.0, then confiscating state-owned assets is Version 2.0. This is because it amounts to national robbery, with its severity potentially exceeding military invasions of other countries' territories.

Overseas assets represent national economic sovereignty, accumulated wealth of the entire population, and a crucial means for a country to respond to emergencies. Confiscating and restricting these assets constitutes an infringement of national sovereignty and a violation of international law, further disregarding global trade rules.

European countries refrain from supporting this behavior because Swiss banks have already suffered severe backlash this year. Everyone is now cautious, and the United States might not mind Russia’s retaliation, but Europe cannot afford it!

Otherwise, the European Union and Russia would become entangled. Not only would the EU face asset confiscation in Russia, but it would also have to deal with long-term military threats from Russia. After the war, Russia will develop, and it will undoubtedly use various means to recover these assets.

As for how they will recover them, Putin has made it quite clear.

As early as April 25th this year, Putin signed a presidential decree, allowing temporary management of assets belonging to unfriendly countries in Russia, effective immediately.

The list of assets under temporary management includes movable and immovable property, securities, shares in registered capital, and property rights.

Furthermore, temporary management of assets belonging to unfriendly countries in Russia can be terminated at the discretion of the Russian President.

Since the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Western countries have been clamoring to freeze or seize Russia’s overseas assets. Once Putin’s presidential decree is signed, these outspoken Western politicians will immediately fall silent.

Which Western companies in Russia own movable and immovable property, securities, and shares? Aren’t they all giants from Western countries? Which company’s shareholders haven’t provided campaign funding to politicians?

The biggest lesson from this incident is that wealthy Chinese individuals are also at risk. Even during peacetime, the former “richest Chinese man” was fined over 50 billion RMB by the United States, and if Taiwan is ever recovered, their wealth may be confiscated by the United States to support Tsai Ing-wen in a civil war in their own country.

As director Jia Zhangke said on Weibo:

“Yesterday at a gathering, I found out that, except for me, over a dozen friends in the room have either already obtained or are in the process of obtaining immigration procedures. This revelation left me deeply shocked.”

Now, Director Jia’s friends probably won’t sleep well.

Don’t think this is alarmist; just think about a few questions:

Can China and the United States coexist peacefully?

The United States is already discussing the possibility of a Sino-U.S. war by 2025.

Is the reunification of Taiwan with China still far off?

If China reunifies Taiwan and achieves national unity, can the United States stand by and do nothing?

U.S. politicians have openly admitted that the purpose of selling weapons to Taiwan in recent years is to turn it into a small island like a hedgehog.

In short, the time for China to reunify Taiwan won’t be too far off. With Russia as a precedent, the assets of wealthy Chinese individuals may very well be confiscated by the United States.

Therefore, certain individuals should adjust their strategies promptly. Otherwise, after a lifetime of hard work, not only will they lose their money, but they will also unwittingly become infamous for supporting tyranny!

As for whether this applies to poor people, it’s hard to say. After all, during the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Western countries didn’t spare anything, not even Russian cats or trees, let alone Chinese people who look very similar to the Western population. In the event of a future conflict between China and the United States, they may have ultimate goals for dealing with Chinese-Americans. Just think about the concentration camps for Japanese-Americans in the United States during World War II. Their property was all confiscated, and Japanese-Americans, out of gratitude, held a deep grudge against their fellow Japanese… This is what Westerners call a highly civilized nation.

The UK has already taken the lead in legislating to confiscate Russian assets.

Currently, the United States is attempting to legalize the confiscation of assets from other countries through legislation, essentially making it legal to seize other countries' assets during wartime. This will provide a legal cover for the United States' legitimate looting.

China is also in the crosshairs, so preparations should be made early.

Putin’s issuance of temporary management of assets belonging to unfriendly countries in Russia is a countermeasure of equal value. Hopefully, it can restrain the greed of the Western coalition led by the United States and pave the way for protecting overseas assets worldwide.

Consider this a reminder for the wealthy. Before taking Taiwan, quickly find a way to transfer your overseas assets to a place beyond U.S. control. Otherwise, when things escalate, there will be nothing left.

Russian invasion of Ukraine → Confiscate Russia’s international assets.

The Financial Times believes: First, seizing Russian assets does not align with the definition of sanctions. Second, confiscating Russian reserves may set a harmful precedent and disrupt the global financial architecture.

But let’s assume the logic is sound. However, this logic can be extended, so the following scenarios would also be valid:

① Israel invades Gaza → Confiscate Israel’s overseas assets.

② United States invades Afghanistan, Iraq, Grenada, Panama → Confiscate the United States' overseas assets.

①② are also instances of killing and occupying foreign territories, so why are the United States and Israel unscathed?

Because there is simply no such thing as international justice.

Don’t get too agitated; there are other ways.

In fact, on April 25th this year, Putin signed a presidential decree:

If Russia’s assets are frozen or restricted abroad, Russia will temporarily manage the assets of unfriendly countries in Russia. Temporary management can be terminated at the discretion of the Russian President.

In other words, the countries that freeze Russian assets will have their assets in Russia frozen as well. The items under temporary management include movable and immovable property, securities, equities, and assets, and only the President has the authority to lift the restrictions.

After the Russia-Ukraine war erupted, Western countries successively froze Russian movable and immovable property in their territories. Among them, the actions of the United States and some European countries were particularly unethical, seizing assets belonging to Russian individuals. It’s truly uncalled for.

Russia’s introduction of this policy is a strong countermeasure against unfriendly countries. This demonstrates that Russia still has the initiative in the geopolitical game behind the Ukraine conflict. If you seize mine, I’ll seize yours. This tit-for-tat game depends on who freezes more assets.

Currently, Western countries have frozen approximately $300 billion in assets belonging to the Russian central bank, businesses, and individuals. Western countries plan to either appropriate these assets or allocate them to Ukraine.

In reality, this decision harms others more than it benefits themselves, causing considerable damage in the process. This is because Western companies and individuals also have substantial assets in Russia, estimated at up to $500 billion.

Among them, several major EU countries hold a significant share, with Germany alone exceeding €100 billion. This includes shares in German energy company Uniper. In reality, Russia has also forcibly taken over German automobile factories in Russia, such as those of BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Volkswagen. Russia can offset these assets and may even end up with a surplus. In the end, it’s the West that will suffer.

This is also why Western countries have been hesitant to take drastic action.

Of course, Russia appears more restrained on the surface compared to the West, hence the use of the term “temporary management.”

But pay attention to the crucial keyword: management.

Since it’s management, I’ll charge management fees!

Specifically, I’ll deduct it directly from the assets under management. You’ll have to pay it even if you don’t want to. If you delay it for too long, it’s possible that the fees may exceed the value of the assets.

Putin is warning Western countries not to act recklessly!

In this world, nobody’s naive!

Be sure to do it as soon as possible, waiting for a windfall of coins.

Not to mention 300 billion, if we can manage to get 50 billion or 100 billion, we’ll all make a fortune.

This unexpected prosperity…just thinking about it is a bit exciting.

Is it time for some year-end bonuses?

Biden: I’ll provide the money, act as bait. The more I offer, the more Europe, Japan, and South Korea must contribute.

Zelenskyy: We’ve been waiting for you to say that. That’s enough. So, are you offering $100 billion?

Biden: No, I’ll offer $200 billion. The more we contribute, the more we earn.

Zelenskyy: Understood. After the deal is done, we’ll repay the full $200 billion. We’ll split it between Europe, Japan, South Korea, and the funds held from Russia.

Zelenskyy: Get Mr. Biden into his diaper!

It’s not very wise to completely fall out with Russia over a mere $300 billion. After all, Russia does possess nuclear weapons, and if they were to become desperate and confrontational with the United States, it could ultimately benefit China. So, I suggest that the United States, even if it intends to confiscate assets, should target those without significant backing, those who have no means to fight back. You could even lock up their entire family in concentration camps, and the masses would still applaud—

Just one Zhao Changpeng can easily produce $7.5 billion, which is just a small matter for 40 wealthy Chinese individuals. Why bother provoking the Russians?

Is the empire so desperate for money that it’s resorting to extreme measures? As a bystander in China, I’ll just grab another bag of sunflower seeds.

I had originally composed a lengthy piece to refute the legitimacy of confiscating overseas assets, but upon reflection, I decided to delete it. The United States is no longer the same nation it once was, a place where legal talent thrived, and the rule of law shone brightly.

In recent years, what has truly astonished me in the American legal realm is not the erosion of the principle that “private property is sacred and inviolable,” but the complete transformation of the law into a tool for political persecution.

On November 24, 2022, the New York Adult Survivors Act officially came into effect. This act stipulates that for cases of sexual assault in which the victim was over 18 years old at the time of the incident and the statute of limitations has expired, survivors can file lawsuits in the state of New York within one year of the act coming into effect.

It is not uncommon for legal regulations to extend the statute of limitations, as our Civil Code in China, for example, specifies that the statute of limitations for civil suits related to sexual assault involving underage victims is calculated from the date when the victim reaches the age of 18.

However, what’s peculiar about this act is that it extends the statute of limitations only for one year from the date of the act’s enactment. In other words, after one year, survivors no longer have the right to file a lawsuit.

In essence, this is a one-time law with an effective period from November 24, 2022, to November 23, 2023.

At this point, things become rather perplexing. There are two suspicious aspects:

First, it is reasonable to preserve the litigation rights of minors because their capacity to sue is inherently limited. However, why does this law protect adults who were 18 or older at the time of the offense?

Second, what is the significance of expending an enormous amount of resources to establish a one-time law?

And then, by a twist of fate,

On November 25, 2022, the day after the law came into effect, 78-year-old writer Carol filed a lawsuit against Donald Trump, accusing him of sexually assaulting her 30 years ago.

It’s a good thing.

If you Americans today don’t take international order seriously,

Then tomorrow, whoever dares to start a war can confiscate your American assets.

I’d like to see if your American investments around the world are really worth these 300 billion.

Please, immediately, right away, do this.

Not only do this, but also seize all the assets of the Russian oligarchs and politicians abroad and give them all to Ukraine.

I want to see the West gradually pushing the pro-Western faction in Russia led by Putin into a dead end.

Make them give up their illusions and only be able to fight to the end with the West.

After all, these guys, in 2023, still think they can compromise with the West.

Compromise, my foot!

Fight, fight to the death!

In the past, Yilin stated, “The wind can enter, the rain can enter, but the king cannot enter,” meaning that sacred property cannot be violated!

The Anglo-Saxons themselves have a history of being robbers, existing by plundering others, so their descendants still retain their robber nature to this day.

America’s robber nature is nothing new!

In the Afghanistan War, the United States swallowed $7 billion of Afghanistan’s national wealth.

In the Iraq War, the United States seized $7 billion of the Saddam family’s assets, leaving only $600,000.

In the Libya War, the United States, along with European countries, froze at least $80 billion of Gaddafi’s assets and more than 140 tons of gold from the Central Bank of Libya.

After the Russia-Ukraine conflict broke out, Ukrainians were used as pawns by the Americans on the front lines, while the United States and the European Union hid behind, busy dividing Russia’s overseas assets.

In the eyes of the United States, war is a means to make money; American troops are still in Syria working as oil transportation “workers.”

Of the $300 billion in assets, Europe controls over $200 billion, while the United States only controls a few billion. The United States is pushing Europe to take the blame. If Europe follows suit, it will deepen the hatred between Europe and Russia, and Europe will feel threatened by Russia, forcing it to rely on U.S. protection.

This strategy results in Russia losing assets, Europe losing security, Ukraine receiving aid, and the U.S. military-industrial complex gaining arms orders and increasing its control over Europe.

I don’t know about others, but for me, after all this fighting, I’ve truly become friends with the Russians. This isn’t Ze Sheng; this is clearly the great humanitarian Osama bin Laden!

  1. Russia’s main foreign exchange reserves are in Europe, especially in European clearing banks within the European Union, totaling approximately 200 billion US dollars.

    According to Russia’s presidential decree dated April 25, 2023:

    In response to the freezing or restriction of Russian assets abroad, temporary administration will be imposed on the assets of unfriendly countries in Russia.

    At the same time, foreign assets in Russia amount to 500 billion US dollars, with the majority in Europe, including over 100 billion in Germany.

    So, this move by the United States is essentially using European assets to “exchange” for Russian assets, emphasizing a form of generosity with others' resources.

First, let’s talk about how these 300 billion dollars in overseas assets are distributed. The Russian central bank holds only about 5 billion US dollars in the hands of US institutions, with most of the deposits in Europe, including non-G7 countries like Switzerland and Belgium. About 200 billion euros are in Euroclear accounts in Belgium, one of the world’s largest clearing and settlement systems.

These 300 billion US dollars are Russia’s substantial foreign exchange reserves, and even though they are frozen, they still belong to Russia’s assets. According to international norms, if other countries want to use this money, there is only one way, which is through legal and legitimate means, such as judicial or court rulings. Anything else would be illegal.

If Western governments and officials try to deprive Russia of its assets through administrative power, it would disrupt the existing world order and rules. It would also inevitably provoke Russia’s opposition and countermeasures. The problem is that Western assets in Russia are not substantial, mainly consisting of funds from Western multinational companies operating in Russia, which are far from comparable to the massive assets of Russia’s central bank seized by the West.

In my opinion, although there are various discussions, the likelihood of the West unilaterally using Russia’s frozen funds is not high. Because the consequences are difficult to predict, and the impact could be very detrimental. However, there are still some loopholes to exploit. For example, some Western countries have begun transferring the interest generated from Russia’s frozen assets to Ukraine, although this interest amount is not significant. Does the United States have the authority to directly confiscate Russia’s overseas assets? It does not have the authority, especially not administrative authority. If the United States and the West were to seize Russia’s foreign exchange reserves through administrative penalties, it would undoubtedly be illegal and highly unlikely to happen.

Suggestion: Confiscate all the assets of corrupt Chinese officials, capitalists, and wealthy individuals in the United States, use this money to support Ukraine, and with this funding, Ukraine can advance towards Moscow. This way, the revitalization of China’s northeast region seems feasible…

Ermao: Why use my money to assist Israel?!