Malta and Greece froze the assets of Russians who fell under the sanctions for much smaller amounts than other EU member countries. According to Reuters, citing a European official and an internal document of the European Commission, we are talking about 147 thousand and 212 thousand euros, respectively.
At the same time, the total value of assets frozen in the EU amounted to 20.3 billion euros. In particular, Italy, Ireland, France, Spain, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and Austria froze one billion each.
An EU official who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity called the reports provided by Greece and Malta "somewhat odd". According to him, either in these countries there were initially few Russian assets, or local officials "are not doing their job." The interlocutor of the agency also admitted that they found a certain amount of Russian money, but did not report everything to the EU leadership.
A representative of the Greek authorities confirmed to Reuters that 212 thousand euros is all that was found on the basis of the EU sanctions list. “The investment environment in Greece is not conducive to the inflow of Russian capital and offshore companies,” the official said. The Maltese authorities did not respond to the agency's request.
According to Reuters, the European Union is considering ways to use the frozen Russian assets to help Ukraine. In addition to the property of individuals and companies that fell under the sanctions, we are also talking about 300 billion euros belonging to the Russian Central Bank. The interlocutor of the agency said that EU leaders may report news on this issue during a trip to Kyiv for the Ukraine-EU summit in early February.
Since 2014, Malta has been issuing so-called golden passports: the country's citizenship can be obtained by investment. As of 2021, it was necessary to invest at least 600 thousand euros in the island's economy and live there for three years. In March 2022, Malta stopped issuing golden passports to citizens of Russia and Belarus.