The practice of recent months has shown that it is becoming possible to unfreeze Russian nationals’ assets frozen in Euroclear’s depository. The legally correct path to release assets in Euroclear’s depositary is to obtain a licence to release assets that are held in the company’s depositary accounts and were blocked in accordance with instructions formulated in the European Union’s sanctions packages. In short, the stages of work can be described as follows:
- First of all, an analysis is carried out of documents relating to the frozen assets. Within this stage, not only is an analysis of documents carried out, but so are activities to clarify the actions of Euroclear after the assets were frozen with a view to verifying that they were lawful.
- Then, a memorandum is prepared – a submission to Euroclear:
- If Euroclear consents to the release, a settlement agreement is prepared and the signing of it is procured
- Should Euroclear present a request to obtain a licence from the Belgian Ministry of Finance to unfreeze the account, an application is prepared to this effect
- If it refuses to issue a licence, the Belgian Ministry of Finance prepares for court proceedings and conducts such proceedings