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16 Jun, 2023 15:42

Putin compares Russian asset seizure to Middle Ages

Businessmen were “stunned” to see their accounts frozen in Western banks, the president has said  
Putin compares Russian asset seizure to Middle Ages

The West’s seizure of Russian state assets and reserves – and those of its citizens – is a violation of all legal norms, President Vladimir Putin said on Friday, while addressing the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).

Putin described the move as medieval and compared it to robbery. He also called for the return of frozen assets, especially those belonging to key Russian industries under domestic jurisdiction.

“Many businessmen were stunned to see that their accounts in the West were frozen. It never crossed anyone’s mind. This is simply robbery! They closed it, took it away and won’t even explain why. It’s shocking. It’s like the Middle Ages,” the Russian president stated.

He noted that when money is earned in Russia and then deposited into foreign accounts, certain risks arise.

“Our people have a good saying: ‘Where you were born is where you should conduct your business’,” he retorted.

Western governments have frozen about $300 billion in Russian central bank assets and are now examining ways to hand the frozen Russian money over to Ukraine. Additionally, more than $80 billion worth of assets belonging to Russian citizens and businesses have been seized. Over 20% of those funds are owned by retail investors, according to estimates by the Bank of Russia.

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