OREANDA-NEWS  The Belgian Finance Ministry will refuse to facilitate the exchange of blocked assets of Russian and foreign investors, and Russian President Vladimir Putin's decree No. 844 of November 8, 2023 is not valid in Europe. A representative of the department stated this in response to a request from RBC.

"Russian decrees do not lead to the emergence of any European obligations," he said. Only European regulations on financial sanctions, which do not imply an exchange, have the force of law in the European Union.

The position of the Belgian ministry is of particular importance because it is the regulator for the Euroclear depository, in which the bulk of the assets of Russians are blocked. If the approach does not change, the site is unlikely to agree to unblock Russian securities after their formal transfer to new owners.

Earlier, the Luxembourg-based Clearstream depository expressed its position. He also refused to facilitate the execution of a number of Russian decrees aimed at unblocking assets, including number 844. At the same time, the depository said that it is consulting with lawyers and competent authorities to understand the consequences of Russian measures and establish all possible regimes to protect its clients' assets and minimize risks.

In Russia, it was noted that the position of the regulator responsible for Clearstream is more important, because it is he who issues permission to transfer securities to a foreign depository. In the case of Euroclear, it was such an instance that expressed its position.