In the seventh round of sanctions, the European Union will oblige restricted Russians to declare all assets on its territory, a European official told Bloomberg. Failure to report any property would be considered sanction evasion, with confiscation being one of the penalties.
The requirement will affect both individuals and legal entities from the EU sanctions list. Russian citizens and companies will be required to provide the relevant authorities with information about any funds or other economic resources, including property, that they directly or indirectly own in Europe.
According to the current legislation of the European Union, sanctioned assets are subject to freezing, which means that the authorities of the bloc cannot take them away and use them for their own purposes. According to Bloomberg, the EU is looking for a way to expand its powers and begin to confiscate, rather than freeze assets, in particular in order to direct them to the reconstruction of Ukraine. In addition, at present, after the freezing, the management of assets passes to the European state on whose territory they are located, and their maintenance is expensive for the EU countries.
In order to legalize the confiscation of sanctioned assets, the EU could make sanctions evasion a crime – this would provide a legal basis for the seizure of property. Such an idea is under consideration by the European authorities, a bloc official told the publication. If the initiative is approved, the measure of restraint will be chosen by the national courts of European countries, and confiscation may be one of them. In addition, the new requirement will provide an incentive for sanctioned individuals to self-report their assets.
The Council of the European Union approved the seventh package of sanctions against Russia on July 21. The sanctions will come into force after publication in the Official Journal of the EU, where details of the new package will also be published. Some of them have already been disclosed by the Permanent Representative of Lithuania to the EU, Arnoldas Pranckevicius – the black list will include more than 50 individuals and legal entities, including politicians and military personnel. In addition, new export controls and a ban on Russian gold will be introduced.