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EU has frozen $70 billion in Russian assets – Politico — RT Business News

Exactly how much of that sum consists of the country’s forex reserves is still unknown, the outlet says, citing an official document

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 and 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.”  

READ MORE:
Britain reveals sum of frozen Russian assets

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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