Russian neighbor reveals volume of frozen assets

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Finland has blocked millions worth of real estate, stocks, and other property that belong to Russian citizens

Finland has frozen roughly €187 ($203) million worth of Russian assets under Ukraine-related sanctions, Pia Sarivaara, a spokeswoman for the country’s Foreign Ministry, said on Sunday.

According to Sarivaara, these assets include “various valuable property” belonging to Russian citizens; in particular, real estate, stocks, cars, yachts and planes.

The Department for Debt Recovery deals with frozen assets in the country. At this time, the department has frozen assets in the amount of €187 million euros.”

Finnish television channel MTV Uutiset recently reported that the blocking of Russian holdings has affected some several dozen organizations, but the exact number has not been revealed. Media reports said the government froze the assets of a local branch of Russian tech giant Yandex, the property of the Finnish resort Langvik owned by Russian businessman Roman Rotenberg, and a 22.5% share in Helsinki Halli arena, which belongs to Russian billionaire Gennady Timchenko, among other examples.

In October, the Finnish Defense Ministry said that the authorities were discussing confiscating the resources, if such an action were deemed important for the country’s security.

According to estimates, a total of around €300 billion of Russian forex reserves and some €19 billion of privately-owned assets that belong to Russians have been frozen in the EU under Ukraine-related sanctions. The European Parliament this week adopted a non-binding resolution calling for the use of those resources to rebuild Ukraine. However, Brussels does not yet have a legislative mechanism for such a move.

Moscow considers the freezing of its assets “theft” and has repeatedly called for their release. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova recently warned that any attempt to take Russian-owned funds and redirect them to Ukraine would force Russia to impose retaliatory measures.

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