Today, the EU’s ‘Freeze and Seize Task Force’ is meeting with US and Ukrainian representatives to discuss international cooperation on the enforcement of sanctions.
The Task Force, set up by the European Commission last month, has been meeting on a regular basis to ensure better coordination of the enforcement of EU sanctions against Russian and Belarusian individuals and companies. During this week’s meeting, the Task Force will be joined by the Head of US ‘KleptoCapture Task Force’ Andrew Adams, and the Deputy Assistant Attorney General and Counselor for International Affairs at the US Department of Justice Bruce Swartz as well as representatives of the Ukrainian authorities.
“In light of the atrocities committed by the Russian army, it is more urgent than ever to strengthen our cooperation within the EU and with our international partners, including the U.S. and Ukraine, and step up our efforts to stop the financing of the Kremlin’s war machine,” said EU Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders. “But let me remind you that adopting sanctions is not enough. It is also important to track our progress and enforce our sanctions policy in practice.”
Almost €30 billion of assets frozen so far
One of the aims of the Task Force is to explore the links between assets belonging to persons listed under EU sanctions and criminal activities. In this context, the Task Force has requested all Member States to share information on the assets’ frozen so far in their respective jurisdictions. While work is ongoing and Member States are still in the process of compiling and sharing the information: so far, more than half of the Member States have reported to the Commission the measures taken to freeze assets. They informed about frozen assets worth €29.5 billion, including assets such as boats, helicopters, real estate and artwork, worth almost €6.7 billion. In addition, about €196 billion of transactions have been blocked.
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