Britin refuses to confiscate Russian money


(MENAFN) Legal experts and sanctions specialists have raised doubts regarding the feasibility of the United Kingdom's plans to confiscate Russian assets, despite political intentions to do so. According to an article by Politico, experts argue that such a move could pose significant legal challenges and undermine the rule of law.

The United Kingdom has taken steps to immobilize Russian assets, with approximately EUR26 billion belonging to the Russian state and over EUR18 billion in private Russia-linked assets being blocked since the onset of the Ukraine conflict. While there have been calls from United Kingdom officials to confiscate these assets and allocate them towards reparations for Ukraine, little progress has been made in actual implementation.

In 2022, British MP Michael Gove proposed seizing the mansions of wealthy Russians in London, colloquially known as "Londongrad," to accommodate Ukrainian refugees. Additionally, there have been suggestions to utilize Russia's sovereign assets to aid in the reconstruction of Ukraine.

However, despite political rhetoric and calls for action, legal experts caution that seizing frozen Russian assets may lack legal standing. Anna Bradshaw, a sanctions lawyer at Peters and Peters, emphasized the legal complexities involved, suggesting that the British government may be hesitant to pursue such actions.

MP Harriett Baldwin, chair of the Commons Treasury Committee, echoed concerns about the legality of asset seizure, warning that it could portray the United Kingdom as a "kleptocratic regime." While asset blocking serves as a temporary sanctions measure, experts argue that outright seizure raises significant legal and ethical dilemmas, potentially compromising the United Kingdom's adherence to the rule of law.

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