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03/12/2023, a Russian private investor and a client of LINNIKOV & PARTNERS received a communication from the Belgian Treasury with revocation of the refusal to unfreeze securities belonging to the client that were blocked in the aggregated account of the National Settlement Depository (NSD) with the Euroclear Bank (Belgium). The Treasury now intends to re-examine the application, taking into account the objections of the investor.


The client, who has a brokerage account with an unsanctioned Russian investment company, which, in turn, interacted with the central European depository Euroclear through the sanctioned NSD, applied for the unblocking of its securities back in December 2022. Six months after the application was submitted, the Treasury notified L&P`s client of impossibility of unblocking the securities. Considering the refusal illegal, the client, assisted by L&P and its foreign partners, filed a complaint with a super title authority — the Belgian State Council.


In early December 2023, without waiting for the complaint to be considered on its merits by the Council of State, the Treasury revoked its decision and informed the applicant that the review of his application would be reinitiated. At the same time, the Treasury has not sufficiently specified the reasons for such a decision.


It is not the first case of revocation of a decision previously taken by the Belgian Ministry of Finance pending consideration of our complaints by the Council of State. Curiously, in this particular case, the Treasury does not refer to specific errors it had made, but limits its communication to generic phrases about “the need for a more in-depth review of the application and attachments thereto”, — says attorney Anton Minakov.


We believe that special attention of the Belgian Ministry of Finance to the applications of L&P clients and specific arguments expressed therein constitutes a positive trend. While in the spring and summer of this year we faced standard “rubber stamp” refusals, now, after filing of complaints with the Belgian State Council, Belgian Treasury is forced to consider applications of our clients seriously and re-examine them. Now we intend to use all possible means to ensure that upon consideration of the applications, our clients will finally be able to dispose of their lawfully owned assets,” — says the founder of L&P and leader of the International Trade, Finance & Sanctions practice group Alexander Linnikov.
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