EU freezes nearly €30 billion of Russian oligarchs’ assets

EU freezes nearly €30 billion of Russian oligarchs’ assets
Putin's own 82-metre yacht in Sochi, with a 15-metre long swimming pool. Credit: Belga

EU Member States have blocked the equivalent of nearly €30 billion of assets that belong to Russian oligarchs and entities since the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders said on Friday.

Yachts, helicopters, real estate and works of art account for nearly €7 billion. In addition, transactions amounting to €196 billion have already been prevented.

These amounts are “undoubtedly underestimates” as they are based on information from the countries that have reported their data to the Commission, which is only half of the Member States so far, a spokesperson said.

The Commission has no estimates for the total value of oligarchs’ assets in the EU, Reuters reported.

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Nearly 700 people linked to the Kremlin have been sanctioned by the EU so far; another 200 will be added to the list on Friday.

Reynders urged Member States to take the necessary steps to implement the sanctions and communicate them to the Commission without delay. “It is not enough to enact sanctions, it is also important to monitor our progress and implement our sanctions policy,” he said.

The figures have been compiled by the EU working group on freezes and seizures, which met with representatives of the United States and Ukraine to better coordinate the sanctions and their reinforcement on Friday.

The twenty-seven countries gave the green light Thursday evening to the fifth set of sanctions against Russia, in particular prohibiting imports of coal, wood, and road and maritime freight.

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