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US envoy suggests frozen Russian assets could be 'easy source of financing' if approved by G7

U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine's Economic Recovery Penny Pritzker says there's "enormous hope" that frozen Russian assets can be seized to fund Ukrainian defenses.

A United States diplomat believes frozen Russian assets could be an easy source of funds for Ukrainian defense efforts — if the rest of the G7 signs off.

U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine's Economic Recovery Penny Pritzker said Monday that dipping into locked Russian accounts totaling more than $300 billion could be an "easy" source of cash for the Ukrainian government.

"I think there's enormous hope that the Russian sovereign assets could become an easy source of financing," Pritzker said during an event at the Ukrainian House in Davos, Switzerland.

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"The whole thing is very complicated. And the first thing you know is a ton of lawyers need to get involved," Pritzker said, according to Agence France-Presse. "There's real work going on and real effort and real intention, but we're far from a conclusion."

Pritzker noted the complex legal issues surrounding such a drastic decision on foreign assets.

She said that while lawyers are looking into the situation, a conclusion should not be expected soon.

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Much of the $300 billion in play is held in Belgium, where the government already has lawyers working on freeing up the funds.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has previously said the reappropriation of frozen Russian assets is a major priority.

The Ukrainian leader spoke Tuesday at the World Economic Forum, aiming to keep his country's struggle in the international conversation.

"It is important that you stand with us, I thank you for your support. It is very important to be here, to boost investment in Ukraine and support our economy," Zelenskyy told the audience in a "CEOs for Ukraine" session in Switzerland.

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