The Portuguese Minister of Foreign Affairs said today that Portugal takes “very seriously” the European Union (EU) sanctions on Russian oligarchs, confirming the freezing of a house owned by Roman Abramovich, without knowledge of other assets for now.
“Sanctions are taken very seriously by Portugal and any sanctioned individual deemed to have property or assets in Portugal will always be investigated and, if confirmed, the assets will be frozen,” said João Gomes Cravinho.
Speaking on arrival at the informal meeting of Foreign Affairs ministers of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Berlin, the head of Portuguese diplomacy confirmed the news released today by the newspaper “Público”, of the freezing of a house belonging to the Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich in Quinta do Lago, Algarve.
“In this case, we have the strong conviction, which is not yet full confirmation, that [a propriedade] belongs to Roman Abramovich and is frozen, which means that it cannot be sold, mortgaged or leased for any kind of financial gain”, explained João Gomes Cravinho, while highlighting “the difficulties” in discovering the ownership of certain properties because they are in of companies owned by others.
Asked if other properties of this Russian oligarch with links to Russian President Vladimir Putin have already been frozen in Portugal, João Gomes Cravinho said: “We are not aware, at this moment, of other assets”.
The newspaper “Público” reports today that the Portuguese state froze, last March, a house owned by Roman Abramovich valued at 10 million euros, located in the Algarve, which the Russian oligarch tried to sell two weeks before the military invasion of Ukraine by Russia.
According to the newspaper, the property, in Quinta do Lago, has been frozen since March 25, at the request of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The newspaper explains that, earlier, on February 9, a British citizen tried to apply for a loan to buy the property, in an operation that caught the attention of Caixa Geral de Depósitos, which later verified that the company that owned the house belonged to the commercial network of Abramovich and alerted the Judicial Police.
The oligarch was sanctioned by the European Union in mid-March, with the freezing of assets and the impediment of access to funds for EU citizens and companies.
Those sanctioned covered by European restrictive measures are also prohibited from traveling, entering or transiting through EU territories, which does not, however, include Roman Abramovich, who has a Portuguese passport.
Roman Abramovich has been a Portuguese citizen since last year, under the process of granting Portuguese nationality to descendants of Sephardic Jews, and this concession is shrouded in controversy and under investigation for alleged irregularities with the certificates that prove his ancestry.
Abramovich’s certificate was issued by the Israeli Community of Porto, whose rabbi, Daniel Litvak, was detained as part of this investigation.