Since the Ukraine war outbreak, the European Union has seized more than 200 billion euros in assets from the Russian central bank. This is reflected in the most recent figures.
This includes frozen assets worth more than 24 billion euros of nearly 1,500 Russian private individuals, companies, movements and organizations.
The latter amount could have been higher, but the EU has difficulty finding and freezing these Russian assets. The country bloc has tried to criminalize the evasion of EU sanctions against Russia and Russians, which would make it easier to freeze assets. To this end, the list of criminal offences, which includes money laundering and corruption, must be expanded.
The EU’s sanctions have also restricted exports of hundreds of goods and technologies, an essential source of income for Russia. In addition, member states are still investigating how the money raised can be used to reconstruct Ukraine. One of those options is investing this money, after which the proceeds can be used.
The EU and its allies have repeatedly indicated that Russia must pay for the damage it has caused in Ukraine. That call was heard again last week at the G7 summit in Japan, where seven rich industrialized countries and the EU met.