Switzerland freezes bank accounts of Russian oligarch Vekselberg after US sanctions are imposed

Swiss banks have decided to freeze the personal bank accounts of Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg due to US sanctions, Forbes Russia reports. The journal cited sources close to Renova group, the Russian businessman’s primary asset.

According to Forbes, approximately one billion Swiss francs (1.01 billion dollars) have been frozen in Vekselberg's Swiss accounts. The oligarch’s lawyers are already trying to appeal this decision and obtain compensation for the freeze, but experts interviewed by the magazine doubt such an appeal will be successful in court.

The journal also noted that the frozen funds had been deposited in both in large public banks, e.g. UBS and Credit Suisse, as well as private banks such as Julius Baer. Moreover, even the Russian billionaire’s accounts in the Bank of Cyprus, in which Vekselberg owns a share of 9.27 percent share, may be frozen. However, the publication’s sources at Renova could not confirm this information.

It was reported in mid-May that Vekselberg had been forced to reduce his share in his Swiss assets due to the sanctions; the billionaire thus tried to withdraw his shares from Renova Group, which fell under the restrictions.

US sanctions against Vekselberg, as well as a number of other Russian oligarchs and businessmen, were introduced as early as April 6, but those affected by sanctions are still continuing to deal with issues that have arisen due to the restrictions. In addition to Vekselberg, other persons hit by the sanctions include Oleg Deripaska, Igor Rothenberg, Suleiman Kerimov and others.

  Viktor Vekselberg, Switzerland, Sanctions on Russia, Russian oligarchs