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Enforcing sanctions against listed Russian and Belarussian oligarchs: Commission's “Freeze and Seize” Task Force steps up work with international partners

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 now stepped up its action at international level. 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.

Cooperation between the European ‘Freeze and Seize' Task Force and the international ‘REPO' Task Force is essential to guarantee the efficiency of the sanctions taken on both sides of the Atlantic. The Commission is committed to work closely and coordinate with its partners to ensure effective cooperation on a global level.

Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, yesterday said:

“This coordination will make the prosecution of the listed Russian and Belarussian oligarchs in the Union a concrete possibility. 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. Our joint action can make a difference globally. It truly shows solidarity and unity in the face of war”.

Commissioner for Financial Services, Financial Stability and Capital Markets Union, Mairead McGuinness, yesterday emphasised that:

“Our combined measures are having a significant impact - the Russian economy is in free fall.  G7 Justice and Finance Ministers committed to the important task of identifying entities and individuals listed across jurisdictions. 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.”

Click here for the full press release


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