Canada is creating a precedent to confiscate a sanctioned Russian oligarch’s assets

December 19,2022 646
Canada is creating a precedent to confiscate a sanctioned Russian oligarch’s assets

Canada will seize and pursue the forfeiture of U.S. $26 million from a company owned by a Russian oligarch sanctioned under the Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations, Canadian Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly announced Monday.

According to a press release on the Government of Canada website, the company – Granite Capital Holdings Ltd – is owned by Roman Abramovich, and it is the first time that Canada is using its new authorities that allow the government to pursue the seizure of assets belonging to sanctioned persons.

“This means that Minister Joly will now consider making a court application to forfeit the asset permanently to the Crown. If forfeited, the proceeds that are generated will be able to be used for the reconstruction of Ukraine and compensation to victims of the Putin regime’s illegal and unjustifiable invasion,” the press release reads.

It also emphasizes that Canada is the first G7 country to implement such measures, “demonstrating its strong commitment to Ukraine, its reconstruction and holding accountable those who have profited from and supported President Putin’s regime.”

“From the beginning of the war, we have warned Putin and his enablers that they would not be able to hide from the consequences of their actions. Impunity has never been an option and Canada will continue to pressure the Russian regime and those who have benefited from Putin’s barbaric invasion of Ukraine. As Ukrainians continue to fight valiantly to reclaim the land that is rightfully theirs, we reaffirm our commitment to stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes,” Joly said.

“Putin’s oligarchs are complicit in Russia’s illegal and barbaric invasion of Ukraine. Canada will not be a haven for their ill-gotten gains, and today’s announcement demonstrates our determination to ensure that Russia’s elites pay the price for their support of Putin’s brutal regime. It is just and appropriate for Russian assets to be used to help rebuild Ukraine,” said Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of Canada.

The Ukrainian World Congress has long been calling to “create a legislative framework that would allow for the immediate confiscation of these Russian assets,” as UWC President Paul Grod said in an interview with a Ukrainian TV channel on Oct. 27.

“We see over 250 million dollars of Russian assets in Canada alone, from what we know. Whereas at the global level, these are thousands of billions of dollars that Russians, Russian oligarchs have stolen from their citizens, and we must monitor these assets – create advocacy and political pressure,” he told the 1+1 channel.

In a more recent interview, he said the “Ukrainian community in Canada is putting pressure on the government to start the confiscation.”

Photo: La Presse Canadienne / Mike Sudoma / Adrian Wyld via Radio-Canada

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