Frozen Funds: Assessing Claims on Russian Central Bank Assets

Event Video

The ongoing war in Ukraine has sparked discussions within the Group of Seven (G-7) about using frozen Russian central bank assets to support the war effort or compensate Ukrainians for the damage caused by Russia's aggression. International law, however, presents challenges as seizing central bank assets could violate foreign sovereign immunity. Supporters argue that such actions could be justified as lawful "countermeasures" against Russia's violations of international law, while opponents disagree. This debate has become a focal point in legal circles, although it has not been thoroughly explored, particularly regarding the risks and costs of third-party actions against Russian assets.

This program will assess a potential seizure of the frozen Russian Central Bank assets and whether assets can be applied toward reconstruction, reparations, or relief to aggrieved individuals. Discussants will consider the legal and diplomatic constraints on this form of retribution, including how seizing Russian assets might impact the broader international financial order.

Join Professor Ingrid Brunk and Professor Philip Zelikow for a discussion of these issues and more.


  • Prof. Philip Zelikow, White Burkett Miller Professor, University of Virginia
  • Prof. Ingrid Brunk, Helen Strong Curry Chair in International Law, Vanderbilt University Law School
  • Moderator: Nitin Nainani, Law Clerk, Mayer Brown LLP



As always, the Federalist Society takes no position on particular legal or public policy issues; all expressions of opinion are those of the speaker.