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EU Hunt for Sanctioned Russian Billionaires’ Assets Stalls
23:54, 09.03.2023 |
3354 | 0

The European Union is struggling to find and freeze the assets of sanctioned Russian billionaires, with the total figure increasing only modestly in recent months.

The bloc has so far frozen €20.9 billion ($22 billion) in assets, even though the EU has targeted Russia with 10 rounds of sanctions since President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine more than a year ago. Back in October, the bloc reported that some €17.4 billion had been frozen.

While Belgium and Luxembourg have immobilized billions, other member nations have disclosed nearly negligible figures, with Greece saying it has frozen only €212,201 and Malta reporting €222,470, according to the latest numbers, seen by Bloomberg.

Officials believe there are substantially more assets of sanctioned Russian individuals that could potentially be targeted. In 2019, Russia’s Foreign Direct Investment stock in the EU was estimated at €136 billion, according to official statistics.

Frozen cash
Russian assets immobilized by EU nations since Ukraine invasion.But many billions more would have entered the bloc through bank accounts of Russian nationals, as well as property and other portfolios. Not all Russian funds that have entered the EU will be linked to sanctioned individuals, and identifying them isn’t always straightforward, as assets are often hidden behind complex company structures or intermediaries.

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20:12, 08.05.2023
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