March 28, 2023 6:57 pm

Wim Van Hooydonk Warning and Updates – Belgium freezes €50 billion Russian assets

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting on the development of the country's metallurgical sector, via a video link at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia August 1, 2022. Sputnik/Pavel Byrkin/Kremlin via REUTERS

€50.5 billion financial assets belonging to Russian individuals, companies and other legal entities subject to sanctions have been frozen by Belgium after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, De Tijd reported on Tuesday.

The funds that have been frozen include a range of assets such as cash and stocks, which are located in Belgium and owned by 1,229 people and 110 other entities, including Russian politicians, oligarchs, banks and companies. Several of these stakeholders were sanctioned when Russia annexed Crimea in 2014 but the majority of the sanctions were introduced when Russia invaded Ukraine in February.

The EU’s most recent package of sanctions against Russia added several banks to the list, including Sberbank (Russia’s largest bank) and VTB, another well-known bank in Russia with the state as the largest stakeholder.

Belgium has frozen significantly more Russian funds than other Member States. Only three weeks ago, European Justice Chief Didier Reynders announced that then €13.8 billion financial assets were frozen across the EU. Reynders indicated that over €12 billion had been frozen by other EU countries, but without specifying which they are.

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