Seeking to penalize Moscow for the invasion of Ukraine, a growing number of EU countries announce the freezing of Russian financial assets – including Switzerland, setting aside a deeply rooted tradition of neutrality. Indeed, the Swiss Government recently reported it had blocked 6.3 billion Swiss Francs (= 6.1 billion euros) of Russian assets.
Last week, the Luxembourg Government also adopted financial sanctions on Russia, leading the authorities to freeze 4.3 billion euros of assets – including bank deposits and securities – of more than 90 individuals and 1,100 legal entities identified in companies’ registers.
Answering a parliamentary question from Green MP François Benoy on Monday morning, Minister of Finance Yuriko Backes confirmed new Russian assets were seized at freeport – a high security hub that can store works of art, fine wines, vintage cars, precious metals, luxury goods and pharmaceuticals [according to the website] – for a total amount of 210 million euros, bringing the overall value of blocked Russian assets in the country since the beginning of the war to around 4.5 billion euros.
The implementation of the sanctions and their possible impact on the country’s financial sector remain to be seen.