Monaco clamps down on Russian assets after Ukraine invasion

PARIS (Reuters) -Monaco, a tax haven often favoured by the super-wealthy, will proceed with freezing assets and imposing sanctions on certain Russians following President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, the Monaco Royal Palace said on Monday.

Prince Albert of Monaco supported all efforts aimed at halting the fighting in Ukraine and encouraging the withdrawal of Russian armed forces from Ukrainian territory, the palace said.

“The Principality has adopted and implemented, without delay, procedures for freezing funds and economic sanctions identical to those taken by most European States,” the palace said in a statement.

Foreigners, including rich Russians, have for years been attracted to Monaco, a tiny Mediterranean principality, by its warm climate and generous tax rules. During the summer months, Monaco’s marina and bay are filled with the superyachts of international billionaires, celebrities and oligarchs.

The Monaco Royal Palace did not say whose assets would be frozen.

Earlier on Monday, neighbouring France said it was combing through the financial assets owned by Russians listed on sanctions lists linked to the Ukraine war, including properties, yachts and luxury cars.

“We have the legal powers to seize all of these assets,” French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said after a crisis meeting with President Emmanuel Macron.

(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; writing by Richard LoughEditing by Chris Reese and Leslie Adler)