Switzerland has frozen financial assets of Russians worth about 7.7 billion Swiss francs ($8.81 billion). The funds were frozen as part of sanctions designed to punish Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine. This was reported by Reuters.
This figure, according to preliminary estimates, exceeds 7.5 billion francs, which, according to the Swiss government, were frozen last year as a result of European Union sanctions.
The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, the body responsible for monitoring the sanctions, said the 7.7 billion francs figure was only a preliminary estimate and could be adjusted.
The exact figure is difficult to estimate due to the constant addition of new individuals to the sanctions list, as well as changes in the status of frozen or unblocked assets due to legal proceedings. More precise information is expected by the end of the second quarter of 2024, when Swiss banks will report to the government.
The increase in the total amount of frozen assets is due to the inclusion of 300 individuals and 100 companies and organizations on the sanctions list over the past year. The list also includes alleged profits from deposits, bonds, shares, as well as real estate and luxury cars.
Bern has also blocked the movement of 7.4 billion francs worth of foreign currency assets belonging to the Russian Central Bank.
Nevertheless, the frozen assets represent only a fraction of the total wealth of Russians in Switzerland, estimated by the Swiss Bankers Association at 150 billion francs.