The European Union froze Russian assets worth 68 billion euros, the Politico newspaper wrote, citing a document of the European Commission.
Most of this money ended up in Belgium.
“Belgium accounts for 50 billion euros of the 68 billion euros,” the article says. Next comes Luxembourg, where assets worth 5.5 billion euros were frozen.
The European Commission estimates that about 33.8 billion euros of the total are Russian national reserves, but the exact amount is unknown.
Following the start of Russia’s military special operation in Ukraine, Western countries have stepped up sanctions pressure on Moscow, freezing about half of Russia’s gold and foreign exchange reserves – about $300 billion. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called these actions theft, pointing out that the EU has been stamping out numerous illegitimate and unfounded decisions to freeze the property of Russian citizens and companies since 2014.
At the same time, the EU is considering the possibility of confiscating the blocked Russian funds and transferring them to finance Ukraine. According to Russian presidential spokesman Dmitriy Peskov, these are absolutely illegal actions which contradict international law and constitute an encroachment on property, state and private, which destroys the foundations of the existing system of economic relations in the world.
President Vladimir Putin has said that the policy of containing and weakening Russia is a long-term strategy of the West, and the sanctions have dealt a serious blow to the entire global economy. According to him, the main goal of the US and its allies is to worsen the lives of millions of people. Nevertheless, the head of state noted, Russia’s financial stability has not been undermined, and Europe itself has reached a sanctions impasse.
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