The Government of Russia has asserted that it has concluded plans to nationalise ‘foreign’ assets in annexed Crimea — including those with Ukraine-linked ownership — and funnel some of the funds to support people fighting in Ukraine.
‘Deputies of the State Council of the Republic of Crimea adopted a resolution on the nationalisation of the property of foreign citizens and states that commit hostile actions against Russia,’ their chairman Vladimir Konstantinov disclosed on social media.
Africa Today News, New York reports that the regional parliament, created by Moscow after the annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, said the bill targeted the property of Ukrainian individuals and businesses and was approved unanimously.
Konstantinov stated that the list of assets ‘includes about 500 facilities related to various enterprises and banks, tourism and sports infrastructure’.
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Russian news agencies said the list includes assets of Ukraine’s richest man Rinat Akhmetov, oligarch Igor Kolomoisky, a dozen Ukrainian banks, factories and the Dynamo Kyiv football club.
“Part of their profits will go towards supporting the participants of the special military operation,” Konstantinov told the RIA Novosti news agency, using the Kremlin’s term for the Ukraine offensive.
The regional government said that said that authorities would distribute that support in part by “giving out plots of land” for free.
In another report, President Vladimir Putin on Thursday declared his plans to unleash a ‘decisive response’ to any country that does anything to threaten Russia while also lashing out against Germany for promising tanks for Kyiv.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine had earlier warned that the Kremlin was consolidating its forces for a fresh offensive.
Zelenskyy was speaking in Kyiv beside EU chief Ursula von der Leyen, who said the bloc was looking to finalise fresh sanctions against Russia by February 24, exactly one year after Putin ordered troops into Ukraine.
In the southern Russian city of Volgograd, Putin said: ‘It’s unbelievable but true. We are again being threatened by German Leopard tanks.’
He was speaking at a ceremony commemorating the Red Army’s victory against Nazi troops 80 years ago in Stalingrad, as the city was then known.