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Sanctions against russians: Belgium froze about 2.7 billion Euro, Portugal - 242 Euro

The E.U. is trying to eliminate loopholes that allow oligarchs to avoid sanctions through third parties, trusts and crypto-transactions.

Sanctions against russians: Belgium froze about 2.7 billion Euro, Portugal - 242 Euro

Russian oligarch's assets in Europe remain largely untouched, several weeks after Brussels approved sanctions against them, including freezing the assets of dozens of Russian oligarchs and high officials, reports Reuters

According to the agency, from the beginning of the russian aggression, E.U. has implemented new sanctions against russians weekly. Although the list contains almost 700 names of politicians, business people, and the military, only a tiny portion of their assets have been frozen. 

Germany, the biggest European economy, refused to publish the information as to the frozen assets. The country's Ministry of Economy informed Reuters that the sanctions working group, created last week, would report on progress in one or two weeks.

Austria, Ireland, Cyprus and Malta refused to provide details on whether they froze any assets. 

The Dutch Ministry of Finance froze about 390 million euros in transactions and deposits - about 1% of the total assets belonging to the persons targeted by sanctions, according to official calculations. 

Italy seized yachts and villas worth about 800 million euros but has not targeted oligarchs' finances since these are mostly kept on third-party accounts or trusts with no designated beneficiary, said the head of Italian fiscal police Guiseppe Zafarana. 

Spain didn't freeze any bank accounts either but seized at least three luxury yachts connected with the persons from the sanctions list. 

Portugal froze only one account belonging to the person targeted by the sanctions, with only 242 euros.

Belgium froze about 2.7 billion euros on bank accounts and 7.3 billion euros in transactions but didn't find any property directly or indirectly belonging to the people from the sanctions list. 

France froze about 850 million euros of personal assets, including property and yachts.

According to Reuters, the USA, which imposed similar sanctions, faces legal hurdles in freezing assets. It is believed that the oligarchs keep most of their assets outside of the E.U. and USA, in offshore jurisdictions, Great Britain, Switzerland and the Gulf countries. 

On March 24, Switzerland announced that it froze 6.2 billion dollars belonging to russians. Swiss banks keep about 213 billion "russian" dollars in total.

After four rounds of sanctions, the E.U. is still working on eliminating loopholes that allow the targeted persons to shelter their money with the help of third persons, trusts or crypt0-transactions, says Reuters. Great Britain froze the assets of over one thousand russian individuals and businesses. 

Earlier, the USA, the E.U. and G7 countries created the REPO (Russian Elites, Proxies and Oligarchs) group to coordinate efforts to uncover the assets of individuals and businesses targeted by sanctions in connection with the russian invasion of Ukraine.

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