January 28, 2023

US, EU Reportedly Lose Track of $200 Billion in ‘Frozen’ Russian Funds

“They do not know where exactly they are, ” financial expert says

The usa and its European allies are having trouble actually locating 2 thirds or more of the Russian assets they froze earlier this year “ because they do not know where exactly they are, ” Charles Lichfield, a senior financing expert at the Atlantic Council, has indicated.

Speaking to Estonian mass media, Lichfield, the deputy director of the Washington-based think tank’s GeoEconomics Center, and expert on Russia’s central banking system, said Western nations actually seized closer to  $80-$100 billion , not $300 billion, because has been widely reported.

Lichfield explained the “ freeze” on Russian assets obligated foreign banking institutions not to allow for their exchange back to Russia, on charges of losing their capability to transact in dollars plus euros. However , some Asian and African banks might not have felt the need to react to requests for information through Western authorities regarding transactions involving Russia, he stated.

The US Treasury triumphantly announced in 06 that Washington and its allies had blocked or frozen some  $300 billion   in Ruskies state assets, plus $30 billion worth of possessions of sanctioned individuals, including Russian tycoons.

Last week, European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen  proposed   creating a special structure to manage the assets and “ invest them. ”

However , EU officials  specified to press   that Brussels couldn’t simply seize the particular Russian assets to use them within Ukraine because the bloc adheres to the principle of condition immunity.

In the US, officials have expressed comparable hesitation. Last month, lawmakers proposed a provision within the 2023 National Defense Consent Act bill to allow for the particular transfer Russian assets to Ukraine, but the idea had been met with opposition among fears that the idea was not “ fully litigated. ” Russian officials have reprehended the asset freeze as being a form of  “ theft. ”

The West’s actions has also prompted Chinese government bodies and banks to  brainstorm ways   to keep their own assets stashed abroad safe if the US and its allies moved against them in the way they have against Russia.

Russia’s frozen assets were previously estimated to constitute near to half of the country’s $640 billion reserve cushion.   According to   the Central Bank’s year-end report for 2021, the biggest portion of its foreign currency and gold was stored in China and taiwan (16. 8 percent), followed by France (9. 9 percent), Japan (9. 3 percent), the United States (6. 4 percent) Britain (5. 1 percent), Canada (2. 7 percent) and Australia (2. 5 percent), with more than 51 percent therefore located in states which have slapped sanctions on Moscow.

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