Larry Summers Says Ukraine Reconstruction Funds Should Come From Putin's Russia: 'We Have The Ability To Seize These Assets'

Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers believes the funds needed to build back Ukraine should come from Russian State assets, just like the Vladimir Putin-led nation had seized German assets during the second world war for its own reconstruction.

"Russia took German assets to pay for its reconstruction after German aggression during World War II. Resources of Iraq, after Iraq went into Kuwait, were seized to support the reconstruction of Kuwait and also to compensate other nations further away who had been victims of that conflict," Summers told CNN host Fareed Zakaria.

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"And that needs to be the ultimate source of support in Ukraine. It needs to be an ultimate source of support for countries taking refugees from Ukraine. And it needs to be an ultimate source of support for countries in the global south, the developing world that have paid and suffered enormously from higher food and energy prices because of Russian aggression," he said.

Summers believes if this sets a precedent that countries that engage in “naked cross-border” aggression will lose their state assets, it would be a very healthy one.

On being asked where would the money come from, the former Treasury Secretary pointed to international banking institutions.

"The funds are held in international banking institutions around the world that, in turn, hold claims back on the treasuries of the major countries, the United States and the Europeans principally. And so, we have the ability to seize these assets. And when we seize these assets, we can spend them as we see fit without any need for Russian approval and with strong precedent from cases like what took place in Iraq," he said.

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Photo by Brookings Institution on Flickr

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Posted In: NewsPoliticsLarry SummersRussia-Ukraine WarVladimir Putin
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