Russian state accounts frozen in Belgium to cover a court settlement compensating shareholders in defunct oil company Yukos are in the process of being unblocked, Belgium's foreign minister said. Russia last week condemned the asset freeze and said it would defend its interests. Speaking during a visit to China, Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders said Russian diplomatic accounts in Belgium at ING bank had been unblocked.
In a video of remarks carried on Reynders' official Twitter feed on Sunday, Reynders said he hoped it will be "the same for all the other bank accounts in the next days and the beginning of the week". He said the unblocking followed "very good collaboration between all the partners", including lawyers and the Russian embassy.
The frozen accounts included those of the Russian ambassador and permanent representatives of the Russian government to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the European Union in Brussels. An international arbitration court ruled last July that Russia must pay $50 billion for expropriating the assets of Yukos, once Russia's biggest oil producer.