January 10, 2023

Assets frozen as a result of sanctions against Russia

Following up on a media report regarding the amount of assets frozen by the 27 European Union member states pursuant to sanctions against Russia – and in particular, sanctions designating Russian oligarchs – the European Commissioner for Financial Services, Financial Stability and Capital Markets Union wrote that as of December 16, 2022, EU member states had reported €18.9 billion in frozen assets within the European Union. 

In the United States, data is available through June 30, 2022, when the US Department of Justice reported on the asset forfeiture efforts of the Russian Elites, Proxies, and Oligarchs (REPO) Task Force formed after the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.  The DOJ’s report lists the participants in the global efforts to accelerate the forfeiture of Russian elites’ assets as:  Australia, Canada, the European Commission, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States.  By the end of June 2022, these entities had together blocked or frozen over $30 billion of sanctioned Russians’ assets, and frozen approximately $300 billion of Russian Central Bank assets.  At least five yachts and other vessels had been seized, and luxury real estate owned or controlled by sanctioned Russians had been frozen, with the aim of isolating sanctioned Russians from the international financial system.

In the United Kingdom, the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation published information about the seizure of Russia assets in the agency’s annual review, released on November 10, 2022.  According to the OFSI review, £18.39 billion worth of assets had been frozen pursuant to the Russia sanctions regime, representing approximately £6 billion more than all other assets frozen pursuant to all UK sanctions regimes combined.  In addition, the UK has frozen the assets of 19 Russian banks with global assets of £940 billion.

EU parliamentary question | OFSI press release | DOJ press release (29 June 2022)