By AML Intelligence Correspondents
An EU-wide ban on property transactions with Russian nationals has been added to the Commission’s sixth package of sanctions.
In the proposal, the European Commission intends to stop property deals with Russian individuals, residents and entities — prohibiting the sale or transfer, directly or indirectly of ownership rights in property in the bloc.
It is designed to apply to land and dwellings located “within the territory of the Union or units in collective investment undertakings providing exposure to such immovable property.”
The latest EU action targets both the Russian state and oligarchs and for the first time specifically targets the lucrative oil industry and Sberbank, the Russian state’s largest bank.
According to the text of the sixth sanctions round the prohibition applies to Russians who are not EU citizens and lack a residency permit in EU member states.
On that basis it will not apply to those who carry citizenship or residency in the European Economic Area or Switzerland.
Over the last two decades many Russian elite have bought property in the EU, including the likes of Roman Abramovich owns a 26,000 square-foot chateau in France.
Outside of the EU he has much property in London – which has become the main funnel for Kremlin and the elite’s wealth.
Elsewhere in France there’s also Suleiman Kerimov who has been linked to the high-end property with a tennis court and giant oval outdoor pool.
The UK joins in on effectively closing down the sectors vital for the Russian economy they do business with as Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss announced a ban on services exports to Russia.
With the new measures, Russian businesses will no longer be able to access Britain’s world-class accountancy, management consultancy, and public relations services, which account for 10% of Russian imports in these areas.
Liz Truss said: “Cutting Russia’s access to British services will put more pressure on the Kremlin and ultimately help ensure Putin fails in Ukraine.”
Earlier it was announced European Union countries will stop importing Russian oil and refined products by the end of the year, Ursula von der Leyen told the European Parliament today (Wednesday).
The European Commission President announced a sixth round of sanctions against Russia for waging war on Ukraine and pledged to minimise the impact on European economies.
The EU chief also said the commission would ask that the bloc’s 27 member states to deny Sberbank, Russia’s biggest bank, access to SWIFT, the global banking communications system.
Brussels will also seek to disconnect the Credit Bank of Moscow and the Russian Agricultural Bank from the SWIFT international payments system, sources said.
The EU will also ban three Russian state-owned broadcasters as part of the latest sanctions package.
“They will not be allowed to distribute their content anymore in the European Union, in whatever shape or form, be it on cable, via satellite, on the internet or via smartphone apps,” Ms von der Leyen said.
It has also been reported that the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, is among those sanctioned.
The new list includes 58 individuals, including many Russian military personnel, but also the wife, daughter and son of Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
The plan, if agreed by EU governments, would mark a watershed for the world’s largest trading bloc, which is dependent on Russian energy and must find alternative supplies.
“We will phase out Russian supply of crude oil within six months and refined products by the end of the year,” she said, prompting applause from MEPs.
“This will be a complete import ban on all Russian oil, seaborne and pipeline, crude and refined.
“It will not be easy. Some member states are strongly dependent on Russian oil. But we simply have to work on it.
“(Russian President Vladimir) Putin must pay a price, a high price, for his brutal aggression.”
The proposals by the commission now need to go to the 27 member states for approval.
Diplomats said there was likely to be a longer period granted to Hungary and Slovakia to stop oil imports as they are so heavily dependent on Russian energy.
She called the TV channels “mouthpieces that amplify (President) Putin’s lies and propaganda aggressively”.
“We should not give them a stage anymore to spread these lies,” she added.
“You are not getting away with this,” Ms von der Leyen said, referring to the Kremlin.
MEPs heard the commission was proposing a recovery package for Ukraine to help it rebuild after the war.
“This package should bring massive investment to meet the needs and the necessary reforms.
“Eventually, it will pave the way for Ukraine’s future inside the European Union,” she said.
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