UK wants to use sanctioned properties of Russian oligarchs for Ukrainian refugees
- Since Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, the UK has sanctioned a number of Russian oligarchs
- Roman Abramovich, major industrialist Oleg Deripaska are among those targeted by the sanctions
- The British governmet said that it will pay its inhabitants 350 pounds to host refugees leaving Ukraine.
When asked by BBC Television if mansions owned by sanctioned Russian oligarchs could be used to house Ukrainian refugees, British Housing Minister Michael Gove indicated he would investigate the idea.
"I want to explore an option which would allow us to use the homes and properties of sanctioned individuals for as long as they are sanctioned for humanitarian and other purposes," Gove said, according to Reuters.
He acknowledged that a "high legal bar" would have to be overcome in order to carry out such a plan, but stated that Britain would support the policy if it was viable.
"There is quite a high legal bar to cross and we're not talking about permanent confiscation but we are saying, 'you're sanctioned, you're supporting Putin, this home is here, you have no right to use or profit from it' and ... if we can use it in order to help others let's do that," he added.
Since Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, the United Kingdom has sanctioned a number of Russian oligarchs. The measures included asset freezes and travel bans.
Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich, major industrialist Oleg Deripaska, CEO of Russian energy company Igor Sechin, and persons close to Russian President Vladimir Putin are among those targeted by the sanctions.
The measure halts Abramovich's plans to sell the Premier League team, the current European champions, although the government has stated that the squad can continue to play.
Others on the list include En+ Group owner Oleg Deripaska, Bank Rossiya chairman Dmitri Lebedev, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller, and Nikolai Tokarev, head of Russia's state-owned pipeline company Transneft.
According to the British government, the seven people added to the sanctions list have a total net worth of 15 billion pounds.
The British government announced on Sunday that it will pay its inhabitants 350 pounds (about $456) to host refugees leaving Ukraine.