Italy tightens freeze on assets linked to Russian oligarchs

ROME, March 4 (Reuters) – Italian banks were instructed by the Bank of Italy’s financial intelligence division on Friday to notify it as a matter of urgency of all measures taken to freeze the assets of people and entities targeted by the sanctions against Russia.

Western allies have taken steps to isolate Russia’s economy and financial system since its invasion of Ukraine, including sanctioning its central bank and the oligarchs who amassed fortunes and political influence under Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The division of the Bank of Italy, known as UIF, said in a statement that all notifications from banks must detail the subjects concerned as well as the value and nature of the assets, and be sent “as soon as possible. time limit”.

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His request comes after the Italian Treasury’s financial security committee met on Thursday to review what had already been done as well as planned actions to freeze assets, the finance ministry said in a separate statement.

The Treasury added that the committee has stepped up its activities to ensure the effectiveness of the sanctions, which apply to both real estate and financial resources.

French authorities said on Thursday they seized four cargo ships and a luxury yacht linked to oligarchs, while in Germany a nearly $600 million palatial pleasure boat belonging to Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov, also on the list of EU sanctions, was in a shipyard in Hamburg. Read more

Usmanov, an Uzbekistan-born metals and telecoms magnate, is well known in Italy for his properties on the island of Sardinia.

Mirko Idili, coordinator of the CISL union in Sardinia, said the sanctions and a reduced presence of wealthy Russians could negatively affect the island’s economy and put more than 1,000 jobs at risk.

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Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte in Rome and Federico Maccioni in Milan, editing by William Maclean and Alexander Smith

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