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London property may feature in sanctions against aggressive Russia

It appears that new controls on property ownership may feature in future sanctions against Russia in response to its aggression in Ukraine.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson says the sanctions will hit the "economic interests that have been supporting Russia's war machine".

He adds: “They will hit Russia very hard and there is a lot more that we are going to do in the event of an invasion. Be in no doubt that if Russian companies are prevented from raising capital on the UK financial markets, if we unpeel the facade of Russian ownership of companies, of property, it will start to hurt."


Pressure group Transparency International published a report earlier this month identifying property in the UK estimated to be worth £1.5 billion and owned by Russians accused of corruption or allegedly linked to the Kremlin.

Transparency International also found 2,189 companies registered in the UK that have been linked to 48 money-laundering and corruption cases. 

At least 28 per cent of the property linked to corruption is located in Westminster and is worth nearly £430m; another 20 per cent is in Kensington and Chelsea; and 10 per cent is in Camden; seven per cent is in the City of London.

A report by the House of Commons foreign affairs select committee in 2018 concluded: “London’s role in hiding the proceeds of Kremlin-connected corruption risks signalling that the UK is not serious about confronting the full spectrum of President Putin’s offensive measures.”

Earlier this week the Home Office closed the Tier 1 'golden visas' scheme which was aimed at encouraging Russians with £2m-plus to invest in the UK in return to access to this country.

Some 2,500 Russians are reported to have taken advantage of the scheme.


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