Russia confiscates assets of Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank

Russia confiscates assets of Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank

Russian justice has ordered the confiscation of assets of several Western European banks. Among those affected are Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank.

As documents from the St. Petersburg court show, up to €238 million in securities, real estate and assets of the credit institution and its Russian subsidiary have been affected at Deutsche Bank. At Commerzbank these are assets with a volume of 93.7 million euros, as well as securities and the bank building in the center of Moscow.

Italian UniCredit was also affected

The background is the initially planned construction of a gas processing plant by the Linde group in the Russian port of Ust-Luga, on the Baltic Sea, west of St. Petersburg. Both institutes wanted to participate in the financing of the system. Linde’s client was the company RusChemAlliance, half of which belongs to the Russian state group Gazprom. Linde had abandoned the project due to Western sanctions against Russia.

In addition to the two large German banks, the Italian UniCredit, one of the European banks most involved in Russia before the Ukrainian war, is also affected. Here the judges confiscated assets and property worth about 463 million euros.

Sanctions and retaliation

Deutsche Bank said that “it remains to be seen how the Russian courts will implement this decision and what consequences it will have for our operations in Russia.” Therefore, the financial institution is “fully protected by a compensation agreement with a client.”

UniCredit said in a statement that it was aware of the Russian court’s decision to seize the assets in Russia. This must now be examined “in detail”. There is no statement from Commerzbank yet.

Russia is increasingly responding with retaliatory measures to sanctions imposed by Western countries due to Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. Many companies had to accept confiscation or seizure of assets and new administrators were appointed for Russian subsidiaries. Companies withdrawing from Russia sometimes have to sell their businesses to Russian companies at deep discounts. Often only a symbolic ruble is paid.

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