29 Feb 2024 19:38

Volume of foreign assets blocked by Russia "comparable" to Russian assets blocked abroad - Siluanov

MOSCOW. Feb 29 (Interfax) - The volume of assets mutually blocked by Russia and foreign states is comparable, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said, commenting on Russia's possible retaliatory steps if threats of confiscations abroad come to pass.

"There are foreign assets in the Russian Federation, belonging to those companies, countries that are unfriendly today, which are talking about a possible freeze. What are these assets? They are divided into production assets and financial ones. On the contrary, we support production assets in every possible way so that those companies who are from Western countries can work here, and we are creating all the conditions, and we will continue to do so. We are extremely interested in these companies not leaving, and that they continue to work, create new jobs, pay wages, and create additional gross product for our country. However, there are also financial companies, financial investments, investments in our companies' shares, bonds, government federal loan bonds. And this volume, too, you know, is quite significant, it is comparable to the volumes of our gold and foreign exchange reserves that are frozen there today," Siluanov told reporters on Thursday.

"Therefore, if Western countries make decisions on restrictions, on withdrawals, we will respond in the same symmetrical way. There is something, I repeat, we can respond with," he added.

The minister emphasized that such a step, if taken, "is not just unfriendly, it is an uncalculated step. Because if the gold and foreign exchange reserves of the Central Bank are frozen and confiscated, then trust in Western institutions, trust in the Western legal system, which has always been considered such an object to be followed (...), will collapse, and this will cause more damage to Western companies than it will to the Russian Federation," Siluanov said.