Non-sanctioned Russians unlikely to recover assets in EU – central bank
Permits issued by the international clearing systems Euroclear and Clearstream to unblock some assets of Russia’s National Settlement Depository (NSD) do not guarantee that Russian investors will be able to recover them, the country’s central bank said in a statement on Wednesday.
Last week, the Belgian and Luxembourg finance ministries authorized the release of “certain frozen funds and economic resources” that belong to non-sanctioned Russian investors, by granting a general license to the NSD. A number of banks had their funds blocked in the NSD due to EU sanctions imposed against the depository earlier this year.
“Short deadlines, vague wording in permits and the complexity of the unblocking procedure do not give confidence that Western regulators are ready to ensure the right of Russian investors to dispose of their property,” the regulator said, and advised investors to wait for notifications from their brokers or custodians on the results of the unblocking process.
Euroclear and Clearstream ceased transactions with NSD's accounts on February 28 and blocked them on June 3, following the inclusion of the depository on the Ukraine-related EU sanctions list.
In September, the Russian depository applied to the Belgian and Luxembourg finance ministries for general licenses, seeking to unlock the assets. On Tuesday, the Bank of Russia assessed the chances of Western countries returning Russian assets as “extremely low” despite the fact that they haven’t been legally confiscated.
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