An unexpected move in the direction of the Kremlin. Hungary has frozen Russian assets worth 870 million euros.
This was reported by the local Hungarian newspaper Nepszava, referring to the report of the European Commission.
This amount was a big surprise because, since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, Budapest strongly resisted sanctions against Moscow until November and had only 3 thousand euros of blocked Russian money.
Interestingly, the sanctioned assets were found in Hungary against the backdrop of the intensified struggle of Viktor Orban’s government for EU funds with Brussels.
Frozen Russian assets in the EU countries today
It is noted that this is quite a significant amount compared to other countries. Italy froze Russian assets worth 2.3 billion euros, Germany – 2.2 billion, Austria – 1.8 billion, Bulgaria – 11.3 million, Czech Republic – 10.8 million, and Slovakia – 4.9 million euros.
The total amount of Russian private assets frozen in the EU countries is about 19 billion euros. However, the publication notes that the exact amount of arrested state assets of Russia is unknown.
Because of Russia’s war against Ukraine, the European Union has imposed restrictions against 1241 individuals and 118 legal entities, including asset freezes and travel bans. Among them are politicians, the military, people in business and oligarchs, and Kremlin propagandists.
EU states are obliged to freeze the assets
EU states are obliged to freeze the assets of those on the list and send a report to the European Commission, encouraging them to speed up these actions and regularly update the joint database.
The newspaper needed to find out whose assets were frozen, for what period, and what they were.
As previously reported by the agency, the EU permanent representatives agreed on recommendations for the EU Council on the implementation of the “conditionality mechanism” concerning Hungary, which provides for the suspension of budgetary funding for this country for 6.3 billion euros due to shortcomings in the rule of law and the corresponding risks to the EU budget.
The situation with sanctions against Russia in Switzerland
The example of Switzerland in this context. After all, this country remained neutral during the two world wars. In 2022, official Bern decided to join the EU sanctions against Russia, which launched a full-scale aggression against Ukraine.
One of the elements of this campaign is the freezing of Russian assets. It is currently known that the amount is 7.9 billion dollars or 7.5 billion Swiss francs.
Sanctions of Western countries forced Russian firms to change their location. They are actively moving from Geneva to the business capital of the UAE – Dubai. This city has become a well-known refuge for citizens of the aggressor state.