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The French government has frozen Central Bank of Russia’s assets worth €22bn ($24bn), media reports said citing French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire. 

“We have frozen the assets of the Russian Central Bank worth €22bn. We have also frozen funds on accounts of individuals in French enterprises worth €150m,” Le Maire told the RTL radio.

Last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a military operation against Ukraine. In retaliation, the US and its NATO allies imposed severe financial sanctions targeting the Central Bank of Russia, Russian banks, President Putin and elites. 

Earlier this month, the Bank of International Settlements (BIS), an umbrella organisation owned by 63 central banks, suspended Russia’s central bank in a bid to further isolate Moscow from the global financial system.

Announcing the sanctions, BIS said it has barred the central bank of Russia from accessing “all BIS services, meetings and other BIS activities”.

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Real estate worth €0.5bn owned by around 30 Russians have also been frozen by the French government, the minister said adding that two yachts worth €150m have been detained.

Le Maire added that “we have managed to unveil and freeze the assets of Russian tycoons totally worth €1.8bn on French territory apart from the Russian Central Bank’s €22bn euro.”

Le Maire noted that freezing property with links to Russia does not mean it can be used for the advantage of the state. 

The move is aimed at preventing its owners from reselling or using it to gain profit, the minister explained.