Polish sanctions law enabled freezing of EUR 2.7 bln in assets

Poland has managed to freeze PLN 13 billion (EUR 2.73 billion) in assets related to the Russian and Belarusian regimes, a deputy interior minister told the Senate on Wednesday.

Paweł Szefernaker told the upper house that the legislation had enabled the financial and economic assets of people on a special Interior Ministry list to be frozen. Those on the list include individuals who support Russia's aggression towards Ukraine or breach human rights or are responsible for repression in Russia or Belarus.

"According to data of the National Tax Administration, the use of mechanisms contained in the law have enabled the freezing of assets to the tune of PLN 13 billion," Szefernaker told the house.

The Interior Ministry list was published in late-April and includes 49 entries: 15 people and 34 companies. In June, one person and one company were removed from the list after they were covered by the same sanctions by the EU. Under the law, Polish restrictions cannot duplicate EU measures.

Szefernaker said that to date eight entities had applied to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Administration to be removed from the sanctions list and all had been denied upon evaluation. Four people and 14 firms covered by the list have taken the matter to court and the case is being tried at the Province Administrative Court in Warsaw.

Szefernaker was addressing the Senate as the house was working on amendments to the sanctions law. He said a key aspect of the amendment is to save jobs and preserve the provision of services by entities covered by sanctions while simultaneously denying them the possibility of supporting the actions of the Russian and Belarusian regimes.

The amendment, passed by the lower house of parliament, the Sejm, on July 7, creates the possibility to impose temporary management in entities whose assets have been frozen with the aim of them being sold or taken over by the State Treasury. Such a takeover would be subject to compensation though those assets would also be frozen.