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18 Nov, 2022 12:21

EU has frozen $70 billion in Russian assets – Politico

Exactly how much of that sum consists of the country's forex reserves is still unknown, the outlet says, citing an official document
EU has frozen $70 billion in Russian assets – Politico

Roughly €68 billion ($70 billion) in Russian assets have been frozen by the EU, most of which are in Belgium, Politico reported on Friday.  

The outlet cited an internal document covering a wide-range of aspects of the European Commission's interactions with Ukraine.  

The bulk of the frozen Russian property is in Belgium, worth €50 billion ($51 billion), while €5.5 billion ($5.7 billion) is in Luxemburg. These two countries together with Italy, Germany, Ireland, Austria, and France account for more than 90% of the frozen assets, Politico reported, citing one of the authors of the Commission’s report, Paola Tamma.   

According to the document, this sum also includes a part of Russia’s national foreign exchange reserves, which may equal approximately €33.8 billion ($35 billion). However, the report notes that the exact figure “is now under assessment, so not to be quoted.”  

The European Commission has long been pushing for legislation to recognize sanctions evasion as an EU crime. Such a move would allow member states to confiscate Russia’s frozen assets in the case of a criminal conviction. While Kiev has repeatedly demanded that its Western allies seize Russian money and use it to rebuild Ukraine, such a decision hasn’t been made so far.   

Earlier this year, Russia estimated that nearly $300 billion of its foreign exchange reserves had been frozen by Western countries. Moscow has criticized the seizure of its assets, saying it essentially constitutes theft.

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