For months, the West has fretted over the prospect of paying for Ukraine’s reconstruction. Russia’s war has inflicted an estimated $400 billion in rebuilding costs, a tally that rises every day. Western leaders, already alarmed by inflation and the threat of recession, have understandably blanched over the bill.
But many of them are disregarding a solution that would cover most of Ukraine’s costs and help deter future aggression not only from Russia but from dictatorships around the world. A year ago, Western governments froze some $300 billion in state assets from Russia’s central bank. Now they could seize the funds and give them to Ukraine.