Kremlin slams Belgium, French seizure of Russian assets

The Kremlin has slammed Belgium’s recent order to freeze the assets of Russian diplomatic missions and other organizations, calling them "hostile".

Kremlin slams Belgium, French seizure of Russian assets

World Bulletin / News Desk

The Russian Foreign Ministry said it had summoned “Belgian Ambassador Alex Van Meeuwen on June 18,” adding that the diplomat “was told that Russia considers such action by the Belgian authorities as an openly hostile act.”

According to reports, Belgian authorities had seized the Kremlin’s assets in a bid to secure the repayment of a contested Russian debt to the former shareholders of the country's now defunct Yukos Oil Company.

In a report in in PressTV, the order was issued based on a 2014 ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, which means Moscow needed to give a total of USD50 billion in compensation to the former owners of the Russian oil giant after the Kremlin broke up the firm in 2013 over tax issues and arrested its chief executive, Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

Yukos was then sold off in a series of opaque auctions between 2004 and 2006.

Russian Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev also dismissed the asset seizures as illegal, saying Moscow would challenge the move.

French authorities have also frozen the accounts of Russian companies, including those in the French subsidiary of Russia’s second largest bank VTB.

“As of this morning [diplomatic accounts] were unfrozen… The sums are small, some dozens of thousands of euros, [but] Russian companies’ accounts are still frozen,” said the VTB’s Chief Executive Officer Andrey Kostin as quoted in local pressed reports on Thursday. 


Güncelleme Tarihi: 19 Haziran 2015, 11:57