Putin signs decree to swap foreigners’ assets frozen in Russia for Russian assets blocked overseas

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree to swap the frozen overseas assets of Russians for foreign companies’ funds frozen in Russia.

Putin signed the decree Wednesday, according to the Russian state news agency TASS.

In the wave of international sanctions that followed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the U.S. government and others froze Russian assets. In response, Moscow froze some assets belonging to foreign investors and companies.

Russians will be able to exchange frozen assets abroad up to a value of 100,000 rubles ($1,100) with funds from so-called Type C accounts that were held by foreigners in Russia, AFP reports. The owner of the Type C account, typically a foreign company, will then have the option of receiving a foreign share abroad that was owned by a Russian investor.

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European clearinghouse Clearstream has not yet responded to MarketWatch’s request for comment on whether it would cooperate on an exchange of shares. Fellow clearinghouse Euroclear declined to comment.

Putin’s decree comes as the European Union is ramping up its efforts to harness frozen Russian assets for Ukraine’s reconstruction.

In March 2022, the European Commission set up a “Freeze and Seize” task force to coordinate actions across the European Union’s member states. “Russia and its oligarchs must compensate Ukraine for the damage and destruction that is being caused,” the European Commission said in a statement last year.

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Reuters reported last month that the European Commission was working on a proposal to pool some of the profits from frozen Russian state assets and direct them to reconstruction efforts in Ukraine. Frozen Russian sovereign assets are valued at 211 billion euros ($223.15 billion), European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said last month at the E.U. leaders summit in Brussels.

Putin signs decree to swap foreigners’ assets frozen in Russia for Russian assets blocked overseas

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