Italy Freezes Over $880Mln Worth Assets of Russian Businessmen Under EU Sanctions

Former European Central Bank president Mario Draghi speaks to the media after accepting a mandate to form Italy’s new government from Italian President Sergio Mattarella at the Rome’s Quirinale Presidential Palace, Wednesday Feb. 3, 2021Google newsROME (Sputnik) – Italy has frozen more than 800 million euros ($880 million) worth assets of Russian oligarchs currently under EU sanctions, Prime Minister Mario Draghi said on Tuesday.”The sanctions that we have agreed with our partners aim at bringing the Russian government to a cessation of hostilities, seriously and sincerely sitting down at the negotiating table … These sanctions have hit the Russian economy, financial markets and the personal fortunes of people close to President [Vladimir] Putin hard. In Italy, we froze the property of oligarchs on the EU lists worth more than 800 million euros,” Draghi told lawmakers.In addition, Dutch Finance Minister Sigrid Kaag said on Tuesday that the Netherlands had also frozen Russian assets worth almost 400 million euros.”The total amount of frozen assets amounted to 391,944,031 euros,” the Dutch minister said in a letter to the lower house of the country’s parliament.According to Kaag, Dutch banks and the country’s trust sector froze Russian assets of around 145 million euros and 242.6 million euros, correspondingly. Russian assets frozen by Dutch pension funds amounted to 379,886 euros, while investment companies froze around 3.9 million euros.At the same time, the minister said that the information may change due to the new package of EU sanctions against Russia, which had came into effect on 15 March.”The table presents reports received by the ministry up to and including March 21. In view of the above, this is probably not a full picture of consequences of the sanctions and freezes [of Russian assets] on the part of financial institutions and trust funds,” Kaag said in the letter.On 24 February, Russia began a military operation in Ukraine, responding to calls for help from the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. In response, Western countries and their allies have rolled out a comprehensive sanctions campaign against Moscow.

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