Greece and Malta have responded to reported concerns by the EU that they are not sanctioning enough Russian assets in light of the war in Ukraine.
They responded after an EU spokesperson was quoted by Reuters saying that Malta and Greece did not appear to be doing enough to enforce the sanctions against Russia.
According to the report, quoting an EU document, Malta had frozen less than €150,000 in Russian assets, the lowest of all the member states.
"Either they don't have much, or they are not doing their job. Or they have done something but not communicated to us even though they had chances," an EU official told the news agency.
The EU document showed how almost every other EU state has frozen millions of euros worth of Russian assets.
Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy and Spain had each notified the EU that they have seized more than a billion euros.
Only Greece, which only seized €212,000, came close to the €147,000 seized by Malta.
Reuters further quoted an official with the Greek authorities whoi said said the €212,000 euros exhausted all the assets Athens identified based on the EU sanctions list
"Greece's investment environment does not favour the inflow of Russian capital and offshore companies," the official added.
The Times of Malta quoted a spokesperson for Malta's Office of the Prime Minister said Malta actually froze €222,000 in Russian assets "and found millions more located overseas".
"The authorities in the public and private sectors remain engaged in an ongoing exercise that has so far revealed that the vast majority of Russian assets registered in Malta were not located in the country," the spokesperson said.
Historically, Malta had not sought Russian investments, he added.
"Malta has been proactively assisting other member states in identifying problematic assets. It is also worth noting that a number of assets belonging to listed individuals or entities (registered in Malta but physically elsewhere) have been seized and frozen by other EU Member States, through mutual cooperation."
Sources close to the island's government also told Times of Malta that "many millions" in Russian assets were identified as ships or yachts that are registered in Malta but were located in other countries.
"Furthermore, there have been a number of judgments by European Courts which related to assets registered in Malta and belonging to Maltese companies which were sold and the proceeds of such assets have been also frozen in bank accounts outside of Malta but within the European Union," the government said.