Freeze and Seize: EU’s Task Force to sanction Russian and Belarusian oligarchs steps up work with international partners

Freeze and Seize: EU’s Task Force to sanction Russian and Belarusian oligarchs steps up work with international partners

March 18, 2022

The European Commission’s ‘Freeze and Seize’ Task Force, set up to ensure EU-level coordination to implement sanctions against listed Russian and Belarussian oligarchs, has begun a collaboration with a similar G7 structure. 

It will work alongside the newly established ‘Russian Elites, Proxies, and Oligarchs (REPO)’ Task Force, under which the EU operates together with the G7 countries: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States, as well as Australia.

This cooperation will guarantee the efficiency of the sanctions taken on both sides of the Atlantic. 

“Such initiatives are vital to achieve the rapid freezing and confiscation of the assets owned by individuals and entities targeted by the sanctions. We must therefore continue to step up our work together to identify oligarchs who help finance or organise actions in Ukraine, or who pursue illegal activities on the territory of the Union,” said Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders.

“Our combined measures are having a significant impact – the Russian economy is in free fall,” said Commissioner for Financial Services, Financial Stability and Capital Markets Union, Mairead McGuinness. “We need to ensure that those who provide services – financial, legal and others – to oligarchs to facilitate sanctions evasion are fully aware of the risks they run. We will investigate any and all efforts to breach our sanctions legislation and there will be consequences for violations. The focus of our work is to stop money flowing to the Russian war machine. Wealthy oligarchs supporting the Russian war machine need to know that they will not find any safe haven in the EU or elsewhere”.

The ‘Freeze and Seize’ Task Force is composed of the European Commission, national contact points from each Member State, Eurojust and Europol as well as other EU agencies and bodies.

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