Maxima Legal has applied for EuroClear to unblock the assets of Russian investors and has also submitted a request to the Belgian Ministry of Finance and a complaint to the European Commission seeking a review of the Belgian Ministry of Finance’s stated conditions

Natalia Demina - Partner

Maxima Legal team has applied to the Belgian Treasury for a licence to unblock EuroClear assets from more than twenty private investors.

Recall that on December 22, 2022 the Belgian Treasury published the terms of unblocking of NSD’s assets in EuroClear, which had to be fulfilled until January 7, 2023. Due to short deadline and necessity to clarify conditions published, Maxima Legal together with its European partners sent a request for clarification to the Treasury on 30 December 2022 and – due to lack of the response from the agency – on 6 January 2023 prepared and sent to the European Commission / DG FISMA a complaint on potential violation of the EU law by the Ministry of Finance of Belgium. In particular, the lawyers noted the vagueness of the conditions announced by Belgium, including the circle of persons entitled to submit requests for unblocking, the requirements for a “European operator (guarantor)”, the purpose and depth of due diligence. In addition, the team working on the project drew attention to the violation of the principles of legal certainty, the contradiction of the purpose and scope of the EU regulations which allow persons not subject to European Union sanctions to unblock their assets, and emphasised that the conditions unreasonably limit the possibilities of unblocking assets to sale only. The scope of the complaint to the European Commission also included a request for an extension of the 7 January 2023 deadline, including for those clients who failed to meet the announced deadline.

“We understand that due to external factors the unblocking situation can unfold in totally different ways, the timing of consideration, execution, etc. is not clear. But we can speculate about the prospects endlessly, we have done all we could for clients who trusted us”, commented Natalia Demina,  Partner, Head of Private Wealth practice at Maxima Legal.