French Foreign Ministry insists EU cannot legally give €1.3b of frozen Russian businessmen’s assets to Ukraine

Image of bundles of €500 banknotes. Credit: Narek87/

The EU cannot legally give €1.3 billion worth of assets frozen from Russian businessmen to Ukraine insisted a spokeswoman for the French Foreign Ministry.


Anne-Clair Legendre, a spokeswoman for the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, insisted on Sunday, February 12, that the EU could not legally give €1.3 billion in frozen assets of Russian businessmen to Ukraine.

Speaking during an interview with the LCI TV channel, she said that the current rules do not allow such a thing to be done. According to Legendre, as it stands, European sanctions provide for the blocking of funds, but they cannot be confiscated without a court decision.

Therefore, transferring them to Ukraine is now impossible. However, as she noted, the European Commission has decided to work with new proposals aimed at achieving this goal. The EC is also assessing the extent to which Europe can use the funds of Russian entrepreneurs to rebuild Ukraine.

“There are many types of assets frozen under European sanctions, such as €300 billion of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation in the EU, and €1.3 billion of Russian oligarchs that were frozen directly in France”, the French Foreign Ministry spokeswoman added.

Previously, the Le Temps news outlet that the largest Swiss financial conglomerate, Credit Suisse, froze 17.6 billion Swiss francs (more than $19 billion) of Russian assets.

Denys Shmygal, the Prime Minister of Ukraine, also previously stated that the country’s government intended to launch open auctions for the sale of confiscated Russian property, as reported by


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Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at