Russia ready to auction property of Ukrainian ‘oligarchs’ – top Crimean MP
The government of Crimea will in the autumn start selling the nationalized property of Ukrainian public figures it considers hostile towards Russia, according to Vladimir Konstantinov, the chair of the Russian region’s parliament.
The senior official updated journalists on the progress of the long-planned campaign on Wednesday on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
The Crimean government is targeting the properties of Ukrainian public figures, whom officials described as “oligarchs” and people taking “actions towards Russia that are unfriendly.”
The list of sanctioned individuals includes businessmen Rinat Akhmetov, Igor Kolomoysky and Sergey Taruta, former Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk, and incumbent President Vladimir Zelensky, among others.
The drive was given impetus last year amid Russian-Ukrainian hostilities, with the regional parliament passing relevant legislation in early February. Later in the same month, Konstantinov said that some 700 properties worth hundreds of millions of dollars were slated for resale.
Sergey Aksyonov, the regional head, said in March that auctions may commence in June, though judging by Konstantinov’s latest remarks, the timing has since changed.
“Our goal is to sell a maximum number of properties this year,” Aksyonov said at the time. “Our principled position is to sell everything. No leasing, no concessions – sell everything.”
Crimean officials said they expected high interest in the scheme from investors and for it to be a significant boost to the regional budget. They stated the measure was first and foremost of moral value, preventing Ukrainian “bandits” from making money in Russia.