Hungary gets cracking: 870 million euros’ worth Russian assets have been seized

December 16. 2022. – 12:00 PM


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By the end of November, Hungary had seized 870 million euros' worth of Russian assets, Népszava reported, according to a recent European Commission summary. According to the paper, this is a significant amount even by European standards, especially since the Hungarian state had previously reported only one seizure, valued at €3,000 to Brussels.

The paper points out the remarkable coincidence in timing, given that the Russian assets were found in Hungary just as the European Commission proposed freezing part of the EU funds intended for Hungary.

According to the latest totals, local authorities have seized €2.3 billion of Russian and partly Belarusian assets in Italy, €2.2 billion in Germany and €1.8 billion in Austria. By contrast, in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, only a few million euros have been frozen, which makes the 870 million euros seized in Hungary particularly substantial.

According to Népszava, the total amount of Russian private assets frozen in EU member states so far is roughly €19 billion, but the exact total is unknown. EU institutions are currently working to make it possible to use the frozen assets for the rebuilding of Ukraine.

So far, the EU has imposed criminal sanctions against 1,241 individuals and 118 entities over the war against Ukraine, including asset freezes and travel restrictions. Those affected include politicians, soldiers, businessmen, oligarchs and Kremlin propagandists.

The paper has sent a detailed questionnaire on the Russian asset freezes in Hungary to NAV (National Tax and Customs Authority), to the Prime Minister's Office, the Interior Ministry and the Foreign Ministry, but has so far received no response from any of them.

This article has more on the connection of Russian oligarchs and figures close to the Kremlin to Hungary.

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