The Belgian Foreign Secretary’s office received no official notice regarding Russian bank accounts frozen by bailiffs in Belgium, revealed the ministry’s spokesperson Hendrik Van de Velde on Friday. Included in the Russian accounts which were frozen are those of the Russian embassy, and its permanent representatives at the EU and NATO in Brussels, according the Russian diplomats. Alex Van Meeuwen, the Belgian ambassador in Russia, was summoned by the Foreign Secretary who protested against an “openly unfriendly act” and a “gross violation of the rules of international law” on Thursday evening.
Countries “daring” to freeze Russian assets abroad are facing “retaliatory measures”, threatened Russian authorities. They also mentioned Belgian assets on Russian territory “including those of the Belgian embassy in Moscow”.
According the Russian press agency Ria-Novosti, Russian accounts in Belgium were frozen following a decision by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, which, in July 2014, condemned the Russian state to pay 50 billion dollars (37 billion euros) in compensation to Ioukos oil group, dismantled from 2000 in a process suspected of being orchestrated by the Kremlin.