Ukrainian plans to seize as much as $500bn (£418bn) in frozen Russian assets to fund the country’s recovery have met firm resistance from Switzerland, the hosts of an international two-day Ukraine recovery conference.
The Swiss president, Ignazio Cassis, pushed back on the plan, saying protection of property rights was fundamental in a liberal democracy. He underlined at a closing press conference the serious qualms of some leaders that proposals to confiscate Russian assets will set a dangerous precedent and needed specific legal justification.
“The right of ownership, the right of property is a fundamental right, a human right,” he said in Lugano, adding that such rights could be violated, as they had during the pandemic, but only so long as there was a legal basis.
Having your house nicked just because you carry the wrong passport ain’t liberal democracy now, is it?