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16 Mar, 2022 12:45

Russia highlights ‘collapse of sanctity of private property’ in the West

The clampdown on Russian businessmen is “hijacking at the state level,” the Kremlin has said
Russia highlights ‘collapse of sanctity of private property’ in the West

The seizure of yachts, planes, and real estate from Russian tycoons is illegal and contradicts the very ideals on which Western society has been built, the Kremlin has said.

Such actions against the businessmen who were sanctioned due to their claimed ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin in the wake of Moscow’s offensive in Ukraine signal “the collapse of the sanctity of private property and private business [and] demonstrate the danger of doing business there,” Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday.

Russia’s leading entrepreneurs are actually “international businessmen” as their companies operate around the globe, he pointed out. Yet, they are treated in a manner that “can’t be described in any other way than hijacking at the state level.”

France claimed to have seized a yacht believed to belong to Russia’s state oil giant Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin in early March. Several other countries followed suit and also arrested vessels and other property of the Russian tycoons.

Peskov acknowledged that the issue of sanctions had been raised at the peace talks between Moscow and Kiev, but added that revealing any further details would be “impossible” as the negotiations were still ongoing.

Earlier in the day, Russia’s top negotiator, Vladimir Medinsky, announced that “there was some progress on several issues, but not all of them” during the talks.

Ukraine is proposing the adoption of a neutral status similar to Austria or Sweden, but with its own military and navy, Medinsky said, adding that the size of the Ukrainian army has been under discussion.

Moscow attacked its neighbor in late February, following a seven-year standoff over Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, and Russia’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics in Donetsk and Lugansk.

The German- and French-brokered protocols had been designed to regularize the status of those regions within the Ukrainian state.

Russia has now demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc.

Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.