French law enforcement froze the accounts of Russian companies controlled by the French subsidiary of the Russian bank VTB, Thursday. Several diplomatic accounts were also blocked, but have been unfrozen since. CEO of VTB Andrei Kostin has stated that his lawyers are looking into unfreezing the accounts operated by Russia's second largest bank. The decision comes as Belgium moved to seize up to $50 billion (€44 billion) in Russian state assets on Wednesday. Belgian law enforcement are aiming to secure payment for a contested Russian debt to the previous owners of the erstwhile oil giant Yukos. Yukos Universal Limited, dismantled in 2007, was awarded €1.6 billion ($1,8 billion) in damages by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague in July 2014, as part of a total settlement for approximately €44 billion ($50 billion), that the court ruled was owed to its former shareholders and management. Russian presidential aide Andrei Belousov called the process politicised during an interview, Thursday, adding that Russia will appeal the court's arrest of Russian property.
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