Belgium in its recent move has frozen €50.5 billion financial assets which are belonging to Russian individuals, companies and other legal entities subject to sanctions following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
The frozen funds 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, such as Russian politicians, oligarchs, banks and companies. Some of these stakeholders were sanctioned when Russia annexed Crimea in 2014 but most of the sanctions were introduced when Russia invaded Ukraine in February.
The European Union’s recent package of sanctions against Russia added several banks to the list, including Sberbank (Russia’s largest bank) and VTB, another prominent bank in Russia with the state as the largest stakeholder.
Belgium has frozen considerably more Russian funds than the other Member States. Just three weeks ago, European Justice chief Didier Reynders announced that then €13.8 billion financial assets had been frozen across the EU. Reynders indicated that over €12 billion had been frozen by other EU countries, but without specifying which they are.
In addition to, Belgium has blocked €217.1 billion in transactions since the war in Ukraine.
Across the EU, luxury yachts and opulent properties that belong to oligarchs have been confiscated. A spokesperson for Belgium’s treasury said that real estate belonging to Russian stakeholders hasn’t yet been targeted by financial sanctions.