Italy and the Netherlands have frozen assets worth $1.7 billion belonging to Russian citizens, in line with the bloc’s sanctions against their countries, media reported on Tuesday.
Italy has seized assets worth more than $882 million (800 million euros) belonging to wealthy Russians on EU blacklists, Prime Minister Mario Draghi said on Tuesday, after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the Italian parliament via video link, the ANSA news agency reported.
Earlier this month, the Italian government said it had frozen Russian assets worth around 140 million euros ($154 million). Among the shares seized were two yachts belonging to billionaires Alexei Mordashov and Gennady Timchenko, and several properties worth 28 million euros belonging to other individuals. The government later also reported the seizure of what is believed to be the world’s largest private motor yacht, a $580 million vessel linked to Russian businessman Andrei Melnichenko.
In another development, the Netherlands also announced a freeze on other Russian assets on Tuesday. As of March 21, the Netherlands had frozen nearly €392 million in Russian assets and transactions, Finance Minister Sigrid Kaag wrote in a letter to the lower house of the Dutch parliament.
According to the letter published on the Dutch government’s website, the largest part, 242 million euros, constitutes assets placed with trust offices. Nearly 145 million euros were frozen in banks and nearly 4 million euros in management companies. Nearly €380,000 was frozen in pensions.
Last week, the Netherlands reported a €200 million seizure of Russian property. Dutch newspaper Financieele Dagblad (fd.nl) says its investigation found the Netherlands hosts more than €80 billion in Russian assets.
EU sanctions against Russia over its conflict with Ukraine have targeted more than 500 Russian individuals or entities, whose assets and financial resources are being seized as EU countries locate them and trace them back to their owners. The EU, together with its allies the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia and the United Kingdom, has created a task force specifically for this purpose.
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