On the sanction blockade of funds of the Russian-Kyrgyz Development Fund in Europe
The funds of the Russian-Kyrgyz Development Fund have been blocked in the Belgian financial structure Euroclear Bank S.A./N.V. All the funds of this fund, amounting to approximately 1 billion US dollars, were provided by the Russian side. The Russian-Kyrgyz Development Fund invested a portion of its assets in credit instruments of international financial institutions. Presumably, this part of the fund's funds has been "frozen" since the company Euroclear is involved in the buying, selling, and storing of securities.
The authorities of Kyrgyzstan and fund representatives neither confirm nor deny the information about blocking funds. At the same time, we have information about active actions by representatives of the Kyrgyz authorities aimed at "unfreezing" the fund's assets.
Following the imposition of sanctions by several democratic countries against Russia for aggression against Ukraine, the authorities of Russia and Belarus have actively used Kyrgyzstan to circumvent sanctions. The mechanisms and directions of circumventing sanctions involving Kyrgyzstan are shown in the analytical report "Central Asian countries and other members of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) as a tool for circumventing sanctions against the Russian Federation, its legal entities, and individuals." The report was prepared by an international group of experts at the initiative of the non-governmental organization "Freedom in Eurasia" (Austria) and was published in English and Russian1.
There is already evidence of measures taken against a commercial organization in Kyrgyzstan for assisting the Russian Federation in circumventing sanctions. The U.S. End-User Review Committee (ERC), composed of representatives of various agencies, has placed the Kyrgyz company Tro.Ya (involved in supplying electronic equipment to Russia) on the sanctions list for "creating a risk of diversion of goods to Russia subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR)."
In the current situation, the blockade of funds of the Russian-Kyrgyz Development Fund is a justified measure aimed ultimately at stopping Russian aggression against Ukraine. The war unleashed by Russia has led to enormous human casualties and massive violations of human rights.
The "Civil Solidarity" Platform unites non-governmental organizations striving to improve the human rights situation in Europe, Eurasia, and North America. It serves as a conduit through which activists can create alliances, strengthen mutual support and solidarity, and expand their influence at national and international levels. The member organizations of the Platform, signing this statement, support the decision to block the funds of the Russian-Kyrgyz Development Fund. We call on European institutions responsible for enforcing sanctions against Russia not to succumb to pressure from the authorities of Kyrgyzstan and Russia and not to lift the blockade of funds. We believe it is essential to respond to all risks of circumventing sanctions and take immediate action in each case that threatens to violate these sanctions. The freezing of Russian assets in countries that oppose Russian aggression against Ukraine is one of the guarantees for compensating for the damage caused by this aggression.
List of signatories:
- Austausch - For a European Civil Society e. V. (Germany)
- Bulgarian Helsinki Committee (Bulgaria)
- Center for Civil Liberties (Ukraine)
- Center for Participation and Development (Georgia)
- Citizens' Watch (Russian Federation)
- Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Vanadzor (Armenia)
- Human Rights in Mental Health-FGIP (Netherlands)
- Human Rights Movement Bir Duino (Kyrgyzstan)
- Human Rights Center (Georgia)
- Human Rights Centre ZMINA (Ukraine)
- Human Rights Center of Azerbaijan (Azerbaijan)
- Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and Rule of Law (Kazakhstan)
- KRF Public Alternative (Ukraine)
- Legal Policy Research Center (Kazakhstan)
- Macedonian Helsinki Committee (North Macedonia)
- Norwegian Helsinki Committee (Norway)
- Promo LEX Association (Moldova)
- Public Association "Dignity" (Kazakhstan)
- Swedish OSCE Network (Sweden)
- Turkmenistan Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights (Turkmenistan)
- Freedom for Eurasia (Austria)