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Warning shot: Russians seize Western assets

Warning shot: Russians seize Western assets

This time, it was not Vladimir Putin who ordered the partial confiscation of the German Commerzbank and the Russian branch of the American bank JPMorgan in a presidential decree, but rather a Moscow court issued the ruling, supporting the claim of a Russian bank on the sanctions list in America. . Western banks could become hostage to geopolitical give and take, reports VG.hu.

The Moscow court approved the request of the Russian Transkapitalbank (TKB) and ordered the partial seizure of the Russian assets of the German Commerzbank and the American JPMorgan in the amount of 12.3 million euros – Portal Quotes Handelsblatt News. The decision could have a worrying impact on Western banks and other companies also stuck in Russia.

The court justified the ruling by the activities of the US sanctions body, i.e. the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), which included TKB on the sanctions list. The assets of companies and government agencies listed in this register are frozen. In addition, Americans are prohibited from doing business with them, which is what banks and companies do in many other countries.

By the way, since the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine, the Deutsche Bank has significantly reduced its business in Russia. Its exposure fell from EUR 1.87 billion in February 2022 to EUR 344 million by the end of 2023. In addition, Commerzbank's Eurasija branch has about EUR 400 million of ruble deposits with the Russian Central Bank.

The seized assets therefore represent only a small part of Commerzbank's total assets in Russia, and do not weigh much compared to the expected profits of about 2.4 billion euros for the entire international group this year.

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However, according to the German newspaper, the decision is a warning shot that was fired because…

They want to hand over about $300 billion of Russian assets frozen in Western countries to Ukraine.

At the end of April Joe Biden At least, the President of the United States has allowed the American authorities to do so, which may prompt the European Union and Switzerland, for example, to take similar steps.

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