Mayor of London wants to seize assets of Russian ‘oligarchs’


(MENAFN) London Mayor Sadiq Khan has proposed that the United Kingdom government take decisive action by seizing the assets of Russian 'oligarchs' in the country and utilizing the proceeds to finance housing for Ukrainian refugees. Khan estimates that the potential sale of these assets could generate an impressive sum of over EUR1.1 billion (USD1.4 billion).

This call comes in the wake of the European Union, the United States, and other Western nations freezing around USD300 billion of Russian central bank assets following Russia's military operation against Ukraine in February 2022. The Bank of Russia estimates that approximately EUR26 billion (USD32.1 billion) of Moscow's sovereign funds are being held by the United Kingdom. Notably, individuals finding themselves on London's sanctions list have seen their property rights restricted by British authorities.

While there have been numerous appeals to direct the frozen assets toward the reconstruction of Ukraine, the G7 nations are engaged in ongoing discussions to determine the most effective and legally sound approach. In a letter addressed to Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities, Khan emphasized the urgency of seizing property assets held by allies of Putin and establishing a comprehensive register of overseas property beneficial ownership.

According to Khan, the sale of assets belonging to "Russians accused of corruption or links to the Kremlin" could potentially fund the creation of more than 4,000 low-cost accommodation units, providing much-needed housing for Ukrainians who have sought refuge in London after fleeing their war-torn country.

This article explores the mayor's proposal in detail, delving into the implications of seizing Russian assets and the potential benefits for Ukrainian refugees. It also examines the broader context of international efforts to support Ukraine's reconstruction and the legal complexities involved in redirecting frozen assets. As the humanitarian crisis unfolds, Khan's suggestion sparks a crucial conversation about leveraging resources to address the urgent needs of those displaced by the conflict.

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