UK preparing legislation to confiscate Russian assets
This comes in light of a call issued earlier this month by Poland and the Baltic states for the EU to use frozen Russian assets for the benefit of Ukraine.
Russian Ambassador to the UK Andrei Kelin told Sputnik on Monday that London is planning to seize frozen Russian assets and is currently drafting legislation to do so.
"It is well known that there is a recognition in almost all Western countries, including London, that such actions are absolutely illegal, and that there are no relevant laws. But the perverted logic is that such laws must be invented, and, as far as I understand, this is what the European Union and Washington are engaged in," Kelin said, adding that "preparation of some kind of legislation that would move in this direction is indeed underway."
This comes in light of calls issued earlier this month by Poland and the Baltic states for the EU to use frozen Russian assets for the benefit of Ukraine.
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For instance, the Swiss bank Credit Suisse announced yesterday it froze assets worth $17.6 billion Swiss Francs (over $19 billion). Yet, the amount was far greater than what Swiss authorities initially reported to have frozen, which is about $7.5 billion francs.
On another note, Bloomberg reported on February 10 that about 86% of frozen Russian assets can't be located in the EU - implying that the rest had been stolen.
Russian Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova has on several occasions described western attempts to seize Russian assets as theft.
Between February and October 2022, the United Kingdom froze 18.39 billion pounds ($21 billion) in Russian assets in response to the war in Ukraine, the Treasury’s Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) wrote in its 2022 annual review.
"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.
In June last year, Russian Security Council Deputy Secretary Alexander Venediktov deemed the freezing 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.
Read more: Russian embassy in US slams US for wiring frozen assets to Kiev