PRAGUE: The European Union has frozen Russian assets worth $13.8 billion since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, EU Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders said Tuesday.
"For the moment, we have frozen -- coming from oligarchs and other entities -- 13.8 billion euros ($13.8 billion), so it's quite huge," Reynders told reporters in Prague.
He refused to name the five countries, but added he expected the other countries in the 27-member bloc to step up their efforts soon.
German Finance Minister Christian Lindner put the value of assets frozen by Germany alone at 4.48 billion euros in mid-June.
At the end of June, an international sanctions task force said its members, including several EU countries, had blocked $30 billion in assets belonging to Russian oligarchs and officials. The Russian Elites, Proxies, and Oligarchs Task Force (REPO) said its members, who also include the US, Canada, Britain, Japan and other allies, had immobilised $300 billion owned by the Russian central bank.
The EU has so far adopted six sanction packages against Russia, including a ban on most Russian oil imports approved in early June.
A total of 98 companies and 1,158 individuals, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, have seen their property frozen and been banned from entering the EU.