France freezes €22 billion worth of Russian assets; Australia bans aluminum exports

The seizures and sanctions are the latest measures to be imposed by Western countries against the Russian state

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Mandiner
Luxury yacht 'Eclipse' of Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich is seen in the bay of Villefranche sur Mer, near Nice, southeastern France, Saturday, July 6 2013. The yacht is some 160 metres long, is equipped with a missile-detection system, a helicopter pad, a miniature submarine and a luxury spa. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)

France has frozen €22 billion worth of Russian assets, which equals approximately 4 percent of the country’s total gold and foreign currency reserves, the country’s Economics Minister Bruno Le Maire announced on Saturday.

Russia’s Finance Minister Anton Siluanov had revealed earlier that half of Russia’s foreign exchange reserves had been blocked due to sanctions. He also added that these funds were kept abroad so that they could pay in foreign currency.

Yachts worth billions have also been seized

The luxury yacht Valerie, with an estimated value of $126 million, has been temporarily seized in Barcelona. According to information gathered from the Pandora Papers, the yacht is owned by former KGB officer Sergei Chemezov, who is currently the CEO of Russia’s Rostec tech company and has close ties to Vladimir Putin.

The super-yacht belonging to Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, Solaris, hastily left the port of Barcelona before the seizure and is currently docked in Montenegro.

Australia also announced additional sanctions against Moscow

In addition to the sanctions imposed on Russia by European nations and the United States, Australia has also announced further measures against the country.

“The government has banned the export of alumina and aluminum ores, including bauxite, to Russia with immediate effect,” Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on Sunday.

“This significantly limits Russia’s critical aluminum production capacity,” Morrison added, revealing that Russia “relies on Australia for nearly 20 percent of its alumina needs.”

In addition, Canberra vowed to increase its military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine

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