Sanctions for the war complicate the life of Russians in Spain

The economic sanctions imposed against Russia as a result of the start of the war to invade Ukraine complicate the day-to-day life of Russian citizens in Spain, increasingly “concerned about their future life in the country and about their children.”

The member of the board of directors of the Union of Organizations of Russian Compatriots in Spain and Andorra, Irina Chistyakova, assured EFE this Wednesday in Marbella and recalled that Spain “is home to many Russians who have relatives in Russia.”

He explained that the application of sanctions means, on the one hand, that those who have accounts in Spanish territory “they cannot transfer money to their families” and, on the other, that “those who have accounts in Russian banks cannot pay by card in Spain”.

There are currently around 80,000 Russian citizens registered in Spain, although “there are many more without registering”, Ricardo Bocanegra, a lawyer from Marbella who is an expert on immigration, told EFE, referring to great concern about the economic issue among the Russian community in Malaga.

In addition to the blocked cards, “paying the children’s school and their maintenance or the community of owners are some of their most immediate problems at this time,” Bocanegra pointed out, to which they add the “tremendous depreciation” of the Russian currencythe ruble.

Without going any further -this lawyer has recounted-, yesterday a Russian client transmitted his anguish because “The accounts do not come out and he feared that he would not be able to have enough money to pay for the school of his three children” when on the Costa del Sol there are “hundreds of children in that situation”.

Another of the “unpleasant surprises” that the settled Russians are currently facing in Spain is that in addition to not being able to transfer their funds to the country, those coming from Russia have been frozen by applying these measures with retroactive effecthas specified.

The issue -he has indicated- is that “the majority of Russians, although they have an account in Spanish banks since they have a residence permit and even own a home here, have the bulk of their funds in Russia and in the Spanish accounts they only have the current money to pay for electricity, water, gas and little else”.

“The first concern of the Russians now is to be able to survive in this situation,” said this expert on foreigners, who has insisted on denying the, in his opinion, “The cliché that the Russians of Marbella and the Costa del Sol are oligarchs and rich, since the vast majority are upper-middle-class families with school-age children”.

He adds that for the Russians “this is not Russia’s war, it is Putin’s war” and they feel “embarrassed” with a situation they “do not understand” and that keeps two countries that have always had “a relationship of authentic brotherhood” at odds.

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