(OTTAWA) Canada will freeze and then try to liquidate nearly $36 million in Canadian dollars from Granite Capital Holdings, “owned or controlled” by Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich.
This will be the first time that the Canadian government has used the new powers it gave itself by adopting the Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations. It took several months to see a concrete example, the provision having entered into force last June.
Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly will have to submit a request to the court to confiscate these assets for the benefit of the Crown. If they are, the proceeds from their liquidation could be used to fund Ukraine’s reconstruction and compensate victims of Russia’s invasion.
“From the start of the war, we warned Putin and his accomplices that they could not escape the consequences of their actions,” said the head of Canadian diplomacy in a press release on Monday.
The Trudeau government has given itself the power to freeze and confiscate the property and assets of sanctioned individuals thanks to new provisions contained in the federal budget of the Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister, Chrystia Freeland, last April.
“Russia’s elites are paying the price for their support for Putin’s brutal regime. It is right and proper that Russian assets should be used to help rebuild Ukraine, she said on Monday. It is right and proper that Russian assets should be used to help rebuild Ukraine. »
Canada was the first G7 country to adopt this type of measure.
The government’s move elated Independent Senator Ratna Omidvar, who had put forward the proposal through her Senate Bill S-217. Because it “is time to make the Russian elites pay” for their complicity in the invasion, she said in a statement.
Close to Vladimir Putin, the Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich is on the list of people sanctioned by Ottawa.
Former owner of Chelsea football club, he decided to sell the team last March, being subject to sanctions from London. The sports club was sold for US$4 billion, a record sum, last May.
Granite Capital Holdings did not react to the Canadian government’s announcement on Monday.