Austria freezes €254 million in Russian assets

“With these measures, we are hitting the oligarchs right where it hurts them: in their money,” explained Chancellor Karl Nehammer. Starting on Friday (27 May), the government will implement a tip-off scheme that aims to increase the volume of frozen money further. [Shutterstock/Sambulov Yevgeniy]

Austrian authorities have frozen a total of €254 million in Russian wealth across 97 accounts, including five properties linked to Russian oligarchs targeted by sanctions, the chancellery told reporters.

The inter-ministerial task force, which includes the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, the National Bank, the Office for the Financial Market and a number of ministries, was set up to track assets belonging to sanctioned Russians. Since then it has frozen €254 million – which is “twice as much as Germany was able to report in March,” the office said in a press release.

“With these measures, we are hitting the oligarchs right where it hurts them: in their money,” explained Chancellor Karl Nehammer. Starting on Friday (27 May), the government will implement a tip-off scheme that aims to increase the volume of frozen money further.

“This is also my message: Austria will do everything to enforce the sanctions against warmongers and supporters of Putin without any ifs and buts,” Nehammer, infamous for being the only EU head of state to visit Putin since the war began, added.

However, the task force has not been freezing much more since the start of April, when it reported it had tracked €216 million. By comparison, the Netherlands froze around €400 million by the end of April, while Italy had registered some €800 million in assets.

Meanwhile, activists occupied a villa near Salzburg linked to former Russian Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov. The group hung banners such as “Anarchos instead of Oligarchos” before abandoning the property late on Saturday (21 May).

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