Will the UK sanction Russian property over Ukraine? Michael O’Kane speaks to openDemocracy
With tensions still at melting point in the conflict over Ukraine, the UK government could target high value properties of Russians accused of corruption or links to the Kremlin. If they are sanctioned, their properties will be frozen, and they won’t be able to sell, rent or re-mortgage them.
The UK’s updated Russian sanctions legislation will allow the UK to target individuals and Peters & Peters’ Michael O’Kane suspects the government has already drawn up a list. He says “under this new legislation…you just need to show that there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the person is essentially benefiting from supporting the government of Russia, and that’s a pretty broad test”.
On what to expect next, Michael says that the government has threatened to implement sanctions only if Russia makes further incursions in Ukraine. “This gives those oligarchs who potentially have assets that are vulnerable an awful lot of time to reorder their commercial positions. This could include moving funds offshore or restructuring corporate entities, which would be perfectly legal until the sanctions come into force”.