Logar: New legislation empowers govt to better implement sanctions

Brussels – The Slovenian government will be able to better implement the EU sanctions against Russia, more specifically the freezing of assets of certain Russian citizens, now that new legislation has empowered it to do so, whereas the old legislation was somewhat “flawed”, Foreign Minister Anže Logar said in Brussels on Monday.

The EU has so far adopted four packages of sanctions against Russia over the invasion of Ukraine, including freezing assets of 685 individuals and 14 legal persons.

Last Wednesday, the National Assembly passed changes to the law which regulate restrictive measures which Slovenia introduces or implements in line with legal acts and decisions adopted by international organisations, Logar said.

Speaking to the press after a meeting of EU foreign and defence ministers, he said that after two years of harmonisation, the amended law significantly empowered the government in the process of implementing the sanctions.

“The previous legislation was slightly flawed,” he said, blaming a notorious case of Iranian money laundering in NLB bank on it.

The new legislation gives institutions such as the Financial Administration and the Surveying and Mapping Authority the needed powers.

In case of a person or company from the EU list with a piece of property in Slovenia, these institutions would simply put a seal on it, Logar explained.

Asked whether the Russians in question had any assets that would have to be frozen in Slovenia, he said that “we haven’t had a concrete case yet”.

When FURS informs the Foreign Ministry of such a case – the ministry acts as a hub for such information, Logar sees no reason why the public would not be informed.

The minister also commented on an idea to set up a fund of the frozen assets of Russian oligarchs or state institutions from which to pay the damage EU members are incurring as a result of the sanctions.

Asked whether this was a feasible option, he said that there were some legal obstacles to it, yet individual countries were looking for a solution.