Brussels (Times Of Ocean)- The European Union has frozen nearly 30 billion euros worth of assets seized from blacklisted Russian and Belarusian individuals and firms as part of sanctions imposed over Moscow’s offensive in Ukraine.
Among the assets frozen so far by the bloc in response to Russia’s offensive in Ukraine are boats, helicopters, real estate and artworks.
On Friday, the European Commission said it had seized assets worth $32 billion (29.5 billion euros), including boats, helicopters, real estate, and artwork.
According to reports, over $212 billion (196 billion euros) of transactions have been blocked as well.
In preparing its figures, the EU relied on data gathered from about half of its 27 member states given to a task force operating in coordination with G7 partners, including the United States.
According to the EU and the US, they are going to aggressively hunt down and seize assets of those deemed to benefit from and contribute to the Kremlin’s offensive.
There are also Russian President Vladimir Putin and his two adult daughters on them, along with oligarchs, influential business people and politicians including Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and their relatives.
“In light of the atrocities committed by the Russian army, it is more urgent than ever to strengthen our cooperation within the EU and with our international partners, including the US and Ukraine, and step up our efforts to stop the financing of the Kremlin’s war machine,” says European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders.
Several waves of sanctions have been imposed on individuals and companies by the EU, US, and G7 countries since Russia’s February 24 offensive in Ukraine, which conducted in part from Belarusian territory.
A fifth package of EU sanctions, adopted on Friday, includes a ban on Russian coal imports, as well as expanded financial sanctions and trade restrictions.
Several oligarchs’ superyachts and luxurious properties have been seized in the EU, while others have been sailed out of the jurisdiction of the G7 sanctions.
Often, determining ownership is a tricky task for authorities, given fiscal smokescreens used by the ultra-wealthy, such as shell companies, trusts and proxy companies.
That’s why, the European Union and the United States have set up task forces in order to gather information and coordinate.
The EU and US task forces will meet later on Friday, the commission said, with Ukrainian officials in attendance.
The next meeting of the EU’s task force will take place in two weeks.
Mairead McGuinness, the bloc’s commissioner for financial services, said the sanctions were “crucial for imposing economic pain on Putin’s regime and those complicit in the war” and their implementation is “essential.”