Russian regulator says it has no faith in Western institutions to protect investors’ rights to use their unblocked funds
Authorizations issued by the international clearing systems Euroclear and Clearstream to release certain assets from Russia’s National Settlement Depository (NSD) do not guarantee that Russian investors will be able to recover them, the country’s central bank said in a statement on Wednesday.
Last week, the Belgian and Luxembourg Finance Ministries authorized the release of “certain frozen funds and economic resources” which are owned by unsanctioned Russian investors, granting a blanket license to the NSD. A number of banks have had their funds blocked in the NSD due to EU sanctions imposed on the custodian earlier this year.
“The short deadlines, the vague wording of the authorizations and the complexity of the unlocking procedure do not provide assurance that Western regulators are ready to guarantee the right of Russian investors to dispose of their property”, the regulator said, and advised investors to await notifications from their brokers or custodians on the results of the unlocking process.
Russia assesses chances of recovering frozen assets
Euroclear and Clearstream ceased transactions with NSD’s accounts on February 28 and blocked them on June 3, following the custodian’s inclusion on the EU Ukraine sanctions list.
In September, the Russian custodian applied to the Belgian and Luxembourg finance ministries for general licenses, seeking to unlock the assets. On Tuesday, the Bank of Russia rated the chances of Western countries returning Russian assets as “extremely low” despite the fact that they were not legally confiscated.
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