Difficulty in sanctioning oligarchs should generate more financial transparency in the EU

The European Union (EU) Fiscal Observatory hopes that the difficulties in applying sanctions to Russian oligarchs will cause changes to greater financial transparency in the community space, aiming to identify goods as in tax havens.

“For a long time, these ideas were not taken very seriously and didn’t arouse much interest, but now I think that this has started to change, namely with the difficulties encountered with the application of sanctions to Russian oligarchs and therefore it is progress”, says the director of the EU Fiscal Observatory, Gabriel Zucman, in an interview with the Lusa agency.

At a time when Brussels asks the authorities of the Member States to identify the assets of these Russian oligarchs, in order to ensure compliance with sanctions such as the freezing of assets, for the Ukraine war, Gabriel Zucman adds that he expects “concrete changes”, since “It’s really a matter of political will because […] current information is not used to create financial transparency”.

“If they do, then the EU would be able to say who the ultimate owners of shares and bonds or equity are,” he says.

Also due to the war, the European Commission asked the European Member States to revoke the citizenship by investment regimes, the golden passports, and control the residency regimes, the ‘gold’ visas, for the “increased risks”.

In the interview with Lusa, Gabriel Zucman adds that “many Russian oligarchs have wealth invested in the EU, such as in Cyprus, Luxembourg, Malta”, so this type of regime, namely citizenship ones, “are not acceptable”, while the of residence “must be reviewed”.

Leave a Reply