(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.
It would be the first time that the Canadian government would use these new powers that it has given itself by giving more muscle to the Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations. It took several months to see a concrete example, the provision having entered into force in 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 successful, the proceeds from their liquidation would be used to finance the reconstruction of Ukraine and compensate victims of Russia’s invasion.
“Since President Putin decided to invade Ukraine, we have always said that he and his accomplices would be held responsible for their actions,” explained Minister Joly on the sidelines of a speech given at the invitation of the Council on International Relations of Montreal (CORIM), Monday.
The Canadian authorities have in their sights “an account of 26 million US dollars which contains dividends linked to Roman Abramovich”, she chained in a press scrum. Why him, and why took so long to act? “The RCMP now has the power to proceed”, justified Mr.me Pretty.
The Trudeau government has given itself the power to freeze and confiscate the property and assets of sanctioned individuals and entities thanks to provisions contained in the federal budget of the Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister, Chrystia Freeland, last April.
The latter said in a statement on Monday that “Russia’s elites” were paying the price for “their support for Putin’s brutal regime”, and that it was “fair and appropriate that Russian assets be used to help the reconstruction of 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.
Canadian sanctions against Moscow | A first attempt to liquidate Russian assets