Emergency law could ban Russians from Dutch trust offices
The Netherlands is working on emergency legislation to prohibit trust offices from offering their services to Russian clients, Minister Sigrid Kaag of Finance said in a parliamentary debate. She would prefer to arrange this at an EU level but still instructed her officials to prepare for a national ban.
Kaag spoke of a "fallback option" if European agreements fall through. If the Netherlands alone decides to do this, Russian companies and oligarchs can still have their money flows managed by trust offices in countries like Malta, Luxembourg, Cyprus, or Ireland, she warned.
The European Union already announced multiple sanction packages against Russia after it invaded Ukraine. If it were up to the Netherlands, the provision of trust services would already be restricted. According to Kaag, it would have been the most effective option to prevent Russian companies and billionaires from using their assets despite the sanctions.
But tackling the trust sector has proved "not so easy," Kaag said. That is why the EU countries so far opted for punitive measures that could be implemented more simply and quickly. This does not alter the fact that the Netherlands still stresses to other countries that "this is really important."
Reporting by ANP.