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Bercy announces that it has frozen nearly 850 million euros in Russian assets

This is the most visible part of the sanctions taken against Russian power in France. Until now, the executive has refused to communicate an overall figure on the extent of the financial measures taken in France against economic or political figures deemed close to President Vladimir Putin.

On Sunday March 20, the Minister of Economy and Finance Bruno Le Maire, guest of the “Grand Jury RTL-Le Figaro-LCI”, finally gave a first estimate: since the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine, nearly 850 million euros of assets of Russian oligarchs have been “immobilized” – that is, frozen – in the territory, he announced.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers Sanctions plunge Russia into serious financial crisis

“We have immobilized 150 million euros in personal accounts, lines of credit in France, in French establishments”indicated the Mayor, as well as “for 539 million euros of real estate on French territory, corresponding to around thirty properties or apartments, and we have immobilized two yachts for 150 million euros”, detailed the Minister. Besides, “22 billion euros in assets of the Russian central bank” were also frozen.

1er March, the Bercy tenant had announced the creation of a “task force” made up of agents from the financial intelligence services (Tracfin), the Treasury, customs and the general directorate of public finances in order to identify as quickly as possible and as exhaustively as possible the bank accounts, luxury ships, properties on the Côte d’Azur or chalets in the Alps of the personalities appearing on a list drawn up by Brussels. A complex job, especially since the people concerned often operate behind shell companies and other financial arrangements.

The Mayor: “Sanctions are hurting Russia”

The Bercy “task force” also has the role of constantly informing financial institutions (banks, insurance companies, asset managers, etc.), but also notaries, lawyers or real estate agents. It is up to them to check whether their clients are subject to an asset freezing measure, by identifying the accounts concerned or even by prohibiting the sale of real estate, and to report it to the general management of the Treasury, in Bercy . The other objective of the “task force” was to bring up new names to add to the blacklist of European sanctions. “We brought up dozens of names”, we said Sunday evening in Bercy, without further details.

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