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Russia’s Blocked Assets in Switzerland Decrease by 1.7 Billion Francs Despite Sanctions Expansion and Increased Investigations

Russian frozen funds have decreased, partly due to price losses

Russia’s Blocked Assets in Switzerland Decrease by 1.7 Billion Francs Despite Sanctions Expansion and Increased Investigations

In recent months, the value of private Russian financial assets blocked in Switzerland has decreased by 1.7 billion francs to 5.8 billion francs since November 2022. This decline is primarily attributed to the poor price development of Russian stocks, despite the EU and Switzerland expanding the list of sanctioned individuals and entities.

There are currently 17 properties blocked in seven cantons, along with luxury vehicles, art, and furniture. Despite the rise in many stock prices since November 2022, the decrease in foreign currency values against the Swiss franc and the fall in interest-bearing securities due to rising interest rates have contributed to lower values for blocked assets.

Investigations into the assets of previously sanctioned entities have also increased the amount of blocked assets. The release of initially blocked assets totaling 140 million francs and the addition of new individuals and companies to the sanctions list have affected the volume of blocked assets. However, it is surprising that despite these efforts, Russia continues its aggressive actions in Ukraine.

The decrease in value of blocked Russian stocks is seen as a sign that economic sanctions against Russia are effective, although they have yet to achieve their main goal of stopping Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. It is worth noting that apart from private Russian financial assets, a significant amount of Russia’s Central Bank’s assets are also blocked in Western countries, including Switzerland. At present, around 7.2 billion francs worth of Russian central bank funds are blocked in Switzerland alone. Despite this economic and financial damage caused by sanctions, Russia continues its aggressive actions towards Ukraine.

Efforts to evade sanctions have led to administrative criminal proceedings but have had limited impact on Russia’s behavior towards Ukraine. The situation remains tense as both sides continue their respective positions on conflict resolution.

Overall, while some progress has been made towards blocking Russian financial assets through sanctions measures, more needs to be done if there is any hope for resolving ongoing tensions between Russia and Ukraine peacefully.

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