European Commission wants to confiscate frozen Russian assets

European Commission wants to confiscate frozen Russian assets

The European Commission is developing a bill that would allow the confiscation of assets that have been sanctioned, informs Bloomberg.

Now the assets of Russians and Russian organizations against which sanctions were imposed are being frozen. The costs of managing them have to be borne by the authorities of European countries, while there is no opportunity to sell them, since the owners are still sanctioned persons. Meanwhile, Ukrainian and some European politicians are calling for the sale of these assets, and the proceeds to be used for the restoration of Ukraine. If the relevant law is adopted, it will be possible to do so.

The goal of the European Commission is to expand the powers of European countries to confiscate assets obtained by criminal means so that the assets of Russians and Russian organizations that fall under sanctions fall into them, writes Bloomberg. The agency does not provide details of the bill being developed, only notes that it is planned to expand the list of crimes that may be grounds for confiscation, such as money laundering and corruption; in particular, it may include violations of EU sanctions.

In late September, German police raided “two dozen” properties associated with billionaire Alisher Usmanov. He was suspected of violating sanctions: he retained employees to look after a luxury property in Bavaria and paid for their work, the Munich prosecutor’s office said in a statement. But the sanctions prohibit conducting financial transactions in the EU.

During a search of Usmanov’s villa, four Faberge eggs were found, experts are establishing their authenticity. According to various estimates, one egg can cost from $8 million to $30 million. Usmanov himself called them souvenirs and continues to claim that he has no real estate in Germany.

The searches and the appearance of publications about this are “political persecution of a philanthropist who is only guilty of having assets in Russia,” Usmanov’s press service said.

The first of the Russian assets that fell under sanctions was sold in Gibraltar at the end of August – the Axioma yacht of TMK co-owner Dmitry Pumpyansky. True, in this case, the sale was carried out at the request of JPMorgan Chase, which claimed that the loan of 20.5 million euros issued for the purchase of the yacht was not repaid after the imposition of sanctions against Pumpyansky.

The yacht was sold for $37.5 million. People familiar with the situation spoke Reuters that JPMorgan will require the return of only the amount of the debt. A Gibraltar government source told the agency that the remaining money would likely be frozen.

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