The Taoiseach has said that three Irish domiciled special purpose entities that were established by a Russian company have so far been found to fall within the scope of EU sanctions announced last week.

Micheál Martin told the Dáil this afternoon that work is now ongoing to establish whether more such special purpose vehicles (SPVs) fall within the scope of the subsequently announced sanctions rounds.

In response to questions from Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphy, Mr Martin said in total just 34 SPVs out of a total of 3,000 registered here have been found by the Central Bank to have a Russian sponsor during an initial review, meaning they were set up by a firm based in Russia.

In total, the assets of the Russian linked SPVs are worth around €36 billion, made up mostly of loans to Russian companies, the Taoiseach said.

He added that total Russian assets held at the end of last year in Irish regulated authorised investment funds stood at around €11.4 billion.

This represented around 0.3% of the total Irish fund assets of €3.8 trillion, Mr Martin said and is split equally between equities and bonds.

The Taoiseach confirmed entities in the financial services sector in Ireland are within scope of the sanction measures agreed by EU member states.

"All natural and legal persons in the State are obliged to comply with the European Union sanctions," he said.

"A breach of financial sanctions is a criminal offence."

"Accounts, funds or other assets must be frozen without delay so that they cannot be made available directly or indirectly to the sanctioned person, entity or body."

He added that Irish collective asset management vehicles, unit trusts, common contractual funds and investment limited partnerships are all subject to beneficial ownership registration requirements.

This, he said, enhances transparency and helps combat money laundering.