The Netherlands has so far frozen more than 632 million euros in Russian assets and held back more than 274 million euros in Russian transactions. This is what Minister Wopke Hoekstra of Foreign Affairs writes in a letter to the House of Representatives.
About two weeks ago, the counter stood at 516 million euros in frozen funds and 155 million in blocked transactions.
At the end of March, minister Hoekstra came under heavy fire in the House of Representatives over the slow implementation of the sanctions. MPs feared this would lead to oligarchs being given time to lock away their assets from the Netherlands. Former Foreign minister Stef Blok was appointed national coordinator. He had to ensure that the punitive measures against Russia were better implemented.
With the help of a specially established data team, an investigation was carried out in recent weeks into compliance with EU sanctions against Russia in the Netherlands. That team consists of more than twenty government organizations, including the tax authorities, Customs and the Tax Information and Investigation Service (FIOD).
Sanctions have been implemented less slowly than expected
That investigation now shows that the implementation of the sanctions was less slow than previously feared. As a result, no large amounts of money would have been funneled away by Russian persons on the sanctions list.
Banks and other organizations involved would have looked directly in their own files for matches with persons who had been put on the sanction list. But due to inadequate data provision, the picture emerged that the implementation of the sanctions was slow to get started, according to Hoekstra in the chamber letter.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs also writes that the manual implementation of sanctions may have led to the fact that assets have not yet been frozen or stopped.