Switzerland unfreezes $6.33 bln of Russian assets
The Swiss government confirms that Russian assets worth $6.33 billion are still frozen as a result of sanctions imposed on Russia.
The head of the Bilateral Economic Relations Division at the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), Erwin Bollinger, told reporters in Bern, on Thursday, that the current total of frozen assets now stands at $6.33 billion.
It is worth mentioning that this number shows a decrease from $1.4 billion in funds the government reported frozen on April 7.
Despite the fact that an additional $2.2 billion was blocked, $3.9 billion was released after being frozen on a precautionary basis.
Furthermore, Swiss banks and asset managers can temporarily freeze funds, but they must be released if it is not possible to prove that the assets are directly owned or controlled by a sanctioned individual.
SECO reported that 11 properties in Switzerland have been blocked so far. It stated that it had received reports from 72 banks, companies, and local governments, but did not name any of the banks or entities.
The estimate comes as Switzerland is under increasing pressure from the US and its allies to do more to quickly identify and freeze the assets of hundreds of sanctioned Russians.
Swiss banks hold up to $213 billion in Russian wealth, with its two largest lenders, UBS and Credit Suisse, each holding tens of billions of francs for wealthy Russian clients, according to Switzerland's bank lobby.