EU: Greece, Malta lag in sanctioned Russian assets

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis talks with Malta's Prime Minister Robert Abela ahead of the 8th MED7 Mediterranean countries summit in Athens, Greece, September 17, 2021. [Louiza Vradi/Reuters]

Greece and Malta lag behind their European Union peers in freezing Russian assets sanctioned over Moscow's war against Ukraine, according to an EU official and an internal document, as the bloc considers using the assets to help Kyiv.

The 27 EU countries have so far reported freezing some 20.3 billion euros ($22 billion) of sanctioned Russian assets, with Italy, Ireland, France, Spain, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and Austria each notifying more than a billion euros.

Almost every other EU country has frozen millions worth of assets, according to the document from the EU's executive European Commission seen by Reuters.

Greece and Malta defended their work on sanctions. Greece confirmed it had notified the bloc of freezing assets worth 212,000 euros, and Malta said it had frozen 147,000 euros worth.

"That is a bit surprising," said the EU official, who...

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