Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, unprecedented economic sanctions against Moscow led to the freezing by Western banks, among others, of approximately $350 billion in Russian public assets, foreign currency and property belonging to oligarchs. Nearly twelve months later, politicians and activists are still advocating in some Western countries for these resources to be used to rebuild the infrastructure, homes, businesses destroyed in Ukraine by the Russian invasion.
By freezing the assets of Russian oligarchs in the country, Bercy has, for its part, created an impressive “task force”, made up of tax officials, customs officers and officials from the financial intelligence services (Tracfin) to track down the assets. , villas, jets, yachts, etc., personalities close to the Kremlin in France, and therefore prevent owners from selling their property: “If you sell a property, potentially, it’s cash that you can perfectly reinvest in Russia, including to support a defense industry, to help a militia”explains to our microphone Jérôme Fournel, Director General of Public Finances. “It’s entirely possible if the assets weren’t frozen. That’s really the goal: to prevent that from happening”. Still, despite all the means deployed, this hunt for Russian property seems very difficult, as revealed by the 8 p.m. survey at the top of this article.