March 16, 2022
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Effective sanctions against oligarchs and the role of a European Asset Registry



This note, by Theresa Neef, Panayiotis Nicolaides, Lucas Chancel, Thomas Piketty, and Gabriel Zucman, provides data on wealth inequality in Russia and advocates for a European Asset Registry. Russia exhibits the highest wealth inequality in Europe. Further, Russia’s wealthiest nationals conceal a large share of their wealth through tax havens. The current architecture of the global financial system impedes comprehensive knowledge on beneficial ownership across asset types and jurisdictions. Under the roof of a European Asset Registry, the already existing but currently dispersed information could be gathered. This would change the state of play, resulting in better-targeted sanctions and effective tools to curb money laundering, corruption and tax evasion. The European Union could have a pioneering role in taking the next step towards more financial transparency.


Figure: The top 0.01% wealth share and its composition


In a paper published in 2018, Alstadsæter, Johannesen and Zucman estimate that the richest 0.01% of Russian nationals (about 10,000 individuals) owned more than 12% of the total Russian household wealth and held 60% of their wealth in offshore tax havens. According to the latest data from the World Inequality Database, there were about 20,000 individuals in Russia (0,02% of the adult population) with net wealth above 10 million euros in 2021.


Data on inequality in Russia

> Check the inequality levels in Russia on the World Inequality Database




Media contacts

EU Tax Observatory – Anne-Priscille Desbarres:; +33 6 32 57 82 52

World Inequality lab – Olivia Ronsain:; +33 7 63 91 81 68