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President Ruto condemns seizure of Russian assets due to ongoing war in Ukraine

President William Ruto (left) arrives in Burgenstock, Switzerland on June 15, 2024, for the Peace Summit. Photo/PCS

President William Ruto (left) arrives in Burgenstock, Switzerland on June 15, 2024, for the Peace Summit. Photo/PCS

President William Ruto on Saturday June 15, 2024 faulted the European Union (EU) and the United States over the seizure of Russian assets due to the ongoing war in Ukraine. 

Speaking in Burgenstock, Switzerland during the Ukraine Peace Summit on Saturday, Ruto remarked that what most of the EU member states were doing was against the spirit of the United Nations.

Ruto explained that the EU and US should not retaliate by capturing Russia’s investment in their jurisdictions. 

“Just as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was unlawful and unacceptable, the unilateral appropriation of Russian assets is equally unlawful, unacceptable and a derogation from the UN Charter, especially for those of us who believe in freedom, justice, democracy,” said Ruto.

President Ruto added that all notions of vengeance must be dispelled, and unilateral actions, which contradict the essence of multilateralism and collective action, must also be avoided by all means.

President William Ruto (centre) arrives in Burgenstock, Switzerland on June 15, 2024, for the Peace Summit. Photo/PCS

According to the US Treasury, the country has frozen assets held by Russian citizens with an estimated worth of USD58 billion which included homes, yachts and private aircraft.

On the other hand, the value of Russian assets frozen in the EU is estimated to be worth 211 billion euros.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had requested the Summit where he sought international support to bring peace and stability to his country. 

President William Ruto had been given the honour of joining world leaders in the Summit which adopted consultations in line with the UN charter. 

At the same time, President Ruto advocated for peace, emphasizing that it was wrong for Russia to attack Ukraine. 

“Russia’s aggression against Ukraine is unlawful, unjust and a violation of the fundamental principles of international law.

“As we embark on the collective effort to resolve the conflict in Ukraine — and throughout the world — it is time for parties to the war to demonstrate good faith, abandon intransigent attitudes and soften their positions for lasting peace to be realised,” he added.

Meanwhile, Ruto noted that a farmer in rural Kenya is aware that there is war in Ukraine because the cost of fertiliser has gone up and it now takes 45 days longer for consignments to reach Mombasa port because shipping routes changed.

President Ruto also explained that the outbreak of these wars is a massive indictment on the current peace infrastructure, especially the United Nations Security Council, which is trapped in chronic gridlock.

French President Emmanuel Macron, who was in attendance, assured the world that the West was not at war with Russia. 

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