Foreigners told how to unfreeze assets in Russia

Lazy eyes listen


Foreign citizens who receive a Russian residence visa will be able to “unfreeze” their funds in the country and sell Russian equities, according to the business weekly RBK, which cited a letter from the central bank this week.

According to the paper, which is also available on the National Association of Stock Market Members’ website, “foreign citizens permanently living in the Russian Federation on a residence permit are not considered unfriendly non-residents” and are thus immune from limitations.

Russia implemented a system last year that requires all payments to inhabitants of “unfriendly” nations, such as loan repayments, coupon payments, and dividends, to be transferred in rubles into special “C-type” custody accounts.

Money can only be taken from these accounts with government authorization and used for necessary payments like penalties and taxes. According to Morgan Lewis, a law firm based in the United States, the money are essentially banned because the number of approved transactions is “extremely limited.”

According to the central bank’s explanation, a foreign person with a Russian residence permit can freely manage money received from Russian firms and transfer up to $1 million overseas per month, according to RBK, citing specialists.

Payments on securities can also be done without using C-type accounts, according to the Bank of Russia.

According to Deputy Finance Minister Aleksey Moiseev, the monies held in C-type accounts total hundreds of billions of dollars, which is equivalent to the amount of Russian assets frozen abroad.