Home News Montenegro freezes the assets of two more Russians from the sanctions list

Montenegro freezes the assets of two more Russians from the sanctions list

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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Montenegro announced the freezing of the assets of two more Russians. According to local media, we are talking about the persons involved in the sanctions list. In 2021 alone, Russian citizens and companies invested 129 million euros in the Montenegrin economy, 50 million of them in real estate. Will the actions of the country’s authorities scare away potential investors?

If you take a quick look at the list of foreigners who have invested in the Montenegrin economy, it immediately becomes clear to whom this country is more interesting than others. The Russians are leaders in real estate investment in the Balkan state. During the first four months of this year, the Russians bought real estate in Montenegro for more than 41 million euros.

“Traditionally, Russians have always bought a lot in Montenegro, their share was more than half among foreigners. The Serbo-Croatian language is very similar, there is no such a strong barrier as in many European countries. Plus, an understandable culture, a pleasant climate, a coastline,” says a representative of Arton Capital , partner of Golden Brown in Montenegro Ksenia Grishchenko.

But the Montenegrin authorities boldly gave up their economic interests when the European states began to adopt packages of anti-Russian sanctions one after another. Montenegro joined the restrictive measures. In addition, the official Podgorica expelled several Russian diplomats, and the local operator stopped broadcasting the Rossiya 24 and RTR-Planeta TV channels, as well as RT and RT Documentary. The culmination was the ban on the overflight of the aircraft of Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Because of this, the diplomat’s visit to Serbia had to be cancelled.

“Unfortunately, after joining NATO especially, Montenegro found itself under occupation. Although it is armed, Montenegro is ruled by people who look after the interests of the West,” commented the chairman of the coordinating council of the Russian-Balkan Center for Public Diplomacy Lubomir Radinovic.

Back in June, the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Montenegro announced that the property of Russians who fell under European sanctions would be arrested. He even named the numbers – 44 objects that belong to 33 citizens of Russia. Local media, in turn, rushed to publish lists with the names of people whose property could be blocked. It turned out that Montenegrin officials got confused in the data of the Russians, and the Minister of the Interior greatly exaggerated the scale of sanctions restrictions. The head of the Ministry of Finance intervened.

“After a detailed check of the restrictive list, it was found that, regardless of the coincidence of names, these are not the same persons. Nobody’s property was frozen if there was no preliminary thorough check,” said the Minister of Finance of Montenegro, Alexander Damyanovich.

Now the Montenegrin media are saying that so far the property of two Russians who have fallen under sanctions has been blocked. There is no direct evidence on the government website. But the fact that prohibition papers exist is evidenced by this document – the response of the Ministry of the Interior to a non-profit organization that requested information about the objects that fell under the restrictions. The Montenegrin Ministry of Internal Affairs writes: the information is confidential, 44 properties are mentioned again. That is, the fact that some Russians have lost access to their property is at least not denied. The procedure for the arrest of housing in Montenegro is the same as in other countries that have imposed sanctions.

“The bailiff is leaving, the locks are being changed. Further, if the owner tries to get into this property, his actions are equated with illegal entry into the premises,” explains lawyer Ekaterina Orlova.

According to the Montenegrin media, objects in Budva (this is the coastal part of the country) and in Zabljak (this is the north of Montenegro) were arrested. While property owners are under sanctions, they will not be able to dispose of their property. Any transaction will be possible only after the owner is removed from the sanctions list. But the fact that Montenegro began to seize the property of Russians does not yet affect the demand from investors. Our compatriots, who were not affected by the sanctions, are still ready to invest in Montenegrin real estate and find ways to pay for the purchase through foreign banks.

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