Posted: 12.09.2023 13:58:00

Estonia to be first in EU to legalise the seizure of sanctioned Russian assets

Tallinn intends to be the first in the European Union to legalise the confiscation of sanctioned assets of the Russian Federation for their subsequent use ‘for the purpose of restoring Ukraine’ – as Estonian Foreign Minister Margus Tsahkna told Bloomberg, TASS reports


The head of the foreign ministry said that the Estonian authorities plan to approve the relevant bill within two weeks before submitting it to parliament for ratification. Margus Tsahkna also said that Tallinn insists on agreeing on an EU-wide plan for the confiscation of frozen Russian assets.

The minister expressed the opinion that the new law ‘will really hit Moscow’ and Russian business. Meanwhile, he admitted that legalising the confiscation of financial assets ‘will inevitably cause legal action’ on the Russian side. The initiative of the Estonian government may affect about €35m of assets of Russian enterprises in the country.

Since last year, the European Commission has repeatedly stated that existing European legislation does not allow the confiscation of foreign assets frozen as a result of unilateral EU restrictions and their transfer to another person or state. At the same time, since last summer, the EC began active work to change European regulations to make the seizure of such funds legal. According to the European Commission, approximately €200bn of assets of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation and about €24bn of private funds are blocked in the EU.