UK froze $21Bln in Russian assets since February – Treasury
The Treasury’s Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) publishes its annual review on Thursday and says the United Kingdom has frozen $21 billion in Russian assets since February.
Between February and October, the United Kingdom has frozen 18.39 billion pounds ($21 billion) in Russian assets in response to the Ukrainian war, the Treasury’s Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) wrote in its annual review published on Thursday.
"From 22 February to 20 October 2022, a total of £18.39 billion in frozen funds were reported to OFSI as being held by or on behalf of persons designated under the Russia sanctions regime," the OFSI said.
This represents a significant increase since September 2021 when the amount of frozen Russian assets was evaluated at 44.5 million pounds.
OFSI said it had also added 1,271 Russians to the consolidated list of designated Russian individuals from February 22 to August 24. Only 11 individuals were removed from the sanctions list during the same period.
Following the start of the war in Ukraine, Western countries imposed various forms of sanctions on Russia from a ban on Russian gold to removing its banks from the international SWIFT monetary system, although the decision to freeze around half of Russia's foreign assets - nearly $300 billion - has been deemed a step too far by many political leaders and analysts.
In June, Russian Security Council Deputy Secretary Alexander Venediktov deemed the freeze of Russian assets to be one of the greatest thefts in history.
The Russian official also warned that the West's decision could lead to the collapse of the international Bretton Woods system of monetary management.
Last month, a spokesman for the Swiss Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research, Fabian Maienfisch, told reporters that Switzerland disapproved of Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky's proposal to transfer frozen Russian assets to Ukraine.