House of Lords Inquiry Calls on the UK Government to Act Swiftly on Russian Frozen Assets

A House of Lords inquiry has concluded that two years into the conflict in Ukraine neither the UK’s nor EU’s targeted sanctions have been enough to deter Moscow from committing further violations of international law and adequately support victims of the conflict.   

In its inquiry’s report into the implications of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine for UK-EU relations, the House of Lords’ European Affairs Committee expresses concerns at the growing evidence that Russia has been largely able to circumvent sanctions. Echoing recommendations made by REDRESS to the inquiry, the report calls on the UK Government to take decisive action to address this. It also recommends that it works closely with its allies to use frozen assets to support reconstructions efforts in Ukraine. 

The Committee urges the UK, in particular, to use all available legal avenues to solve the impasse regarding using frozen assets from the sale of Chelsea Football Club to support the reconstruction of Ukraine, expressing astonishment that “the Government has not yet resolved the problems around the promised use of frozen assets form Chelsea FC’s sale to support Ukraine”. REDRESS has long called for the UK Government to deliver the proceeds of Chelsea FC to Ukrainian victims in consultation with civil society and survivors.  

While REDRESS welcomes the Committee’s recommendations, we regret that the report fails to make any findings on the need for the UK to support victims of the conflict in Ukraine. Support for the reconstruction of Ukraine must not overshadow reparations for victims. Adopting an inclusive, survivor-centred approach that includes survivors in the design and operation of reparations mechanisms is essential to meet their immediate and long-term needs. 

To read more about REDRESS’ work on repurposing assets to deliver reparation to victims read our briefing papers Innovative Avenues to Deliver Reparations in the UK and The Delivery of Reparation for Ukraine.

Photo by Ahmed Jadallah/REUTERS. Ukranians fleeing the conflict in Lviv.