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May 26, 2022

Russian Central Bank’s €23bn assets frozen in EU since start of Ukraine war

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The member countries of the European Union have frozen around €23bn ($24.5bn) of the Central Bank of Russia’s assets since the beginning of Ukraine war in February, Reuters has reported. 

The figure, which was expected to be much more, was made public for the first time by EU Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders.

In retaliation for Russia’s military offensive against Ukraine, the US along with its European and Asian allies imposed unprecedented sanctions on Moscow.

According to Russian authorities, sanctions have resulted in freezing of around $300bn of its central bank’s assets. 

Based on the information collected by European Commission from 27 EU members, less than one-tenth of the frozen assets are in the EU, Reynders said in a news conference. 

Physical assets worth nearly €10bn including yachts and villas of oligarchs and elites with close ties to Russia have been frozen by EU countries, Reynders said. 

In comparison, the assets frozen by the US alone are valued at around $100bn.  

The news comes as the G7, and EU discuss a proposal to seize assets of the Russian central bank to fund the reconstruction of war-torn Ukraine.

Russia is said to possess more than $600bn in foreign reserves in gold, dollar and other currencies. 

Earlier, the Bank of Russia Governor Elvira Nabiullina said that the regulator would take necessary legal steps to recover its foreign reserves.

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