July 14, 2024

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Saudi Arabia issued a strong threat to the G7 if it touched Russian assets

Saudi Arabia issued a strong threat to the G7 if it touched Russian assets

Saudi Arabia reportedly hinted privately earlier this year that it could sell some stake in European debt if the Group of Seven (G7) decides to seize nearly $300 billion in frozen Russian assets. This was disclosed to the international media by anonymous persons familiar with the matter.

According to sources consulted, the Arab country’s finance minister has expressed his opposition to seizing funds to help the Kiev regime to his colleagues in the organization. One of the people described the Saudi stance as a “veiled threat”.

In particular, Riyadh mentioned the possibility of selling debt issued by the French Treasury. The kingdom’s holdings in French bonds and euros could be several billion euros. Although not large enough to make a significant difference if they were sold, the threat that other countries might take similar measures worried European officials.

Despite pressure from the United States and the United Kingdom to consider bolder options, the G7 agreed to use the gains made and leave frozen Russian assets intact. Some euro zone member states opposed it, amid concerns that the seizure would undermine the currency. The people suggested that Saudi Arabia’s concerns would have influenced those countries’ positions.

For his part, an official in Riyadh said it was not his government’s style to make such threats, but the possible consequences of any seizure could have been explained to the G7 nations.

Because Riyadh and Moscow maintain close ties, it is unclear whether the kingdom acted out of self-interest, fearing the seizure could set a precedent against other countries in the future or aligning with Russia, the sources said. Since the beginning of the Ukrainian conflict.

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