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France freezes 33 Russian-owned properties

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France’s government says it has frozen 33 properties on the French Riviera, Paris and elsewhere that belong to Russian oligarchs targeted for sanctions over the war in Ukraine.

The Finance Ministry this week published an updated list of Russian-owned properties that have been frozen in France, including a luxury chateau overlooking the Mediterranean on the Cap d’Antibes that reportedly belonged to sanctioned Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich.

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Together, the 33 properties are estimated to be worth more than half a billion euros. Unlike property that is seized or confiscated, frozen properties still belong to their owners, and they can continue living in them. But they cannot be sold or rented out.

The total value of Russian assets frozen or seized in France is now approaching 24 billion euros, with the bulk of that being nearly 23 billion euros in frozen financial assets for the Russian central bank.

Aside from financial assets and properties, French authorities have also frozen or seized three yachts and four transport ships, and frozen six helicopters and three artworks.

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