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Swiss Authorities Have Placed A Freeze On Over $6 Billion In Sanctioned Russian Assets

Swiss Authorities Have Placed A Freeze On Over $6 Billion In Sanctioned Russian Assets
According to reports quoting an official of the government of Sweden, the Swiss government has frozen roughly 5.75 billion Swiss francs ($6.17 billion) in Russian assets in Switzerland that are subject to sanctions, and the sum is certain to climb.
"Today, for the first time, I can give you an indication of the amount of frozen funds. To date, SECO has been notified of funds and assets totalling around 5.750 billion Swiss francs," said Erwin Hollinger, a senior official at the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) agency overseeing sanctions.
He said at a news conference in Bern that this included a number of assets in cantons that acted as tourism resorts.
Since the neutral country began adopting European Union sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, SECO has refused to estimate the amount of assets frozen or possibly subject to sanctions.
"The cited number of far over 5 billion francs relates to a snapshot in time," Bollinger noted. "With further reports coming in and potential additions to EU sanctions lists, which Switzerland would also assume, it is likely this number will rise further."
The pressure on Switzerland, a favoured destination for Moscow's elite and a safe haven for Russian riches, to identify and freeze the assets of hundreds of sanctioned Russians has risen.
Switzerland's bank lobby estimates that its banks hold up to $213 billion in Russian assets.
Bollinger warned against equating Russia's total wealth in the country with the amount subject to sanctions.
"Not every sanctioned individual or entity has assets in Switzerland," he said. "And, on the other hand, not every Russian who holds assets in Switzerland is simultaneously on the sanctions lists."

Christopher J. Mitchell

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