€80 billion in Russian assets found in the Netherlands: Report
At least 80 billion euros in assets linked to Russian companies can be found in the Netherlands, according to a report by Het Financieele Dagblad in collaboration with Company Info. Around 45 billion euros are connected to Russian oligarchs and companies that have been sanctioned by the European Union following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The amount of Russian assets left in the Netherlands is still unclear, but FD’s inventory found 3,800 Dutch companies with a Russian connection. The companies include ones owned by the Russian state, as well as natural gas group Gazprom, supermarket company X5 Retail Group and telecom company Veon. Russian companies are often connected with the Netherlands for favorable tax rates, according to FD.
“These are of course not all bad companies,” sanctions lawyer Yvo Amar told FD. “And the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has lured that money here itself with tax roadshows and fierce lobbying at the embassy in Moscow.”
The investigation found 18 parties that are on the European Union’s sanctions list: 14 oligarchs and the financial institutions Sogaz, VTB Bank, Bank Rossiya and Gazprombank. The sanctioned individuals include CEOs of Russian media companies. There are also oligarchs who have “strong interests in the Netherlands” and have not yet been sanctioned by the European Union, including the owner of Lukoil and Volga-Dnepr airlines, FD reports.
In contrast, Dutch institutions have blocked 200 million euros in Russian assets under the European Union sanctions. These assets were only in the form of bank balances, however –– not companies that experts believe contain billions more shares. Amar said one of the major challenges to getting at these assets is for trust offices to find out “who actually runs the structure.”