According to the German sanctions legislation, the persons on the sanctions lists after the imposition of restrictions are required to immediately disclose asset data to the government. None of the Russians did this
None of the Russians sanctioned by the European Union provided the German government with information about their assets, as required by national legislation on the implementation of sanctions restrictions. This is reported by Reuters with reference to a letter from the State Secretary of the German Ministry of Economy Udo Philipp to the Bundestag deputy Christian Goerke, which the agency managed to get acquainted with.
“None of the Russians sanctioned by the European Union filed asset declarations, which is required by law. In Germany, they call for a tougher transparency regime, — notes Reuters.
According to the current legislation, it is necessary to inform the authorities about the existing assets immediately after being included in the sanctions lists. Penalties for non-compliance with this requirement range from fines to imprisonment for up to one year.
According to the German authorities, after the imposition of sanctions from the end of February 2022, the assets of “Russian oligarchs” were frozen in the country. in the amount of €4.48 billion, including funds in the amount of €2.3 billion in bank accounts.
“The German Central Bank, as well as the Federal Office for Economics and Export Control, do not received declarations»,— The agency quotes an excerpt from Philipp's letter.
The agency also cites the words of Deputy Görcke, who believes that monitoring of compliance with sanctions should be strengthened.
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“The duty to be transparent should also extend to those who do business with the oligarchs, such as notaries, brokers, used car dealers, art dealers, and banks. It is not enough to simply add the names of oligarchs to the sanctions lists. <…> The authorities have lost hope of ever tracking down and freezing their [the oligarchs'] assets,— Reuters quotes MP.
In mid-July, European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders reported that the EU had frozen the assets of Russian billionaires, individuals and legal entities subject to sanctions, in the amount of €13.8 billion. Most of the frozen assets— over €12 billion— accounted for five of the 27 European countries, but Reinders did not specify which ones.
Russian assets were frozen as part of the imposition of several packages of sanctions and the tightening of previously existing restrictions in the spring of 2022. In Russia, these measures are called illegal. According to Alexander Venediktov, deputy secretary of the Russian Security Council, “freezing Russian assets” this is one of the greatest thefts in history.
The Kremlin called the arrests of the assets of Russian businessmen a robbery: presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov said earlier that Russian entrepreneurs were “robbed” as if in the Wild West, while they honestly earned their money.
A number of Russian businessmen who fell under European sanctions challenged the imposition of restrictions in the EU court. Among them are Roman Abramovich, Pyotr Aven, Mikhail Fridman, Alexei Mordashov and Alisher Usmanov. As Friedman noted, Western countries, when introducing restrictive measures, do not understand “how power actually works in Russia.” According to him, the distance between the Russian leadership and anyone else is “like the distance between the Earth and space.”