Germany seizes first Russian property under sanctions | News | DW

German authorities have seized three private apartments and a bank account belonging to a sanctioned member of the Russian Duma parliament and his wife, the prosecutor of the city of Munich in southern Bavaria said on Monday.

“As far as we know, this is the first case in Germany where not only assets were ‘frozen’ due to sanctions, but actual real estate was seized,” prosecutor Anne Leiding said.

The sanctioned individual, named L. by prosecutors, was one of the Duma members who voted to support Russian President Vladimir Putin’s call to recognize Ukrainian breakaway regions calling themselves the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic as independent states. .

L. has been on the EU sanctions list since February 23. Bavarian authorities are investigating the husband and wife for violating sanctions.

Authorities cut rental income

A bank account linked to the couple was also seized. The account was used for rent payments to landlords amounting to €3,500 ($3,681) per month.

Tenants living in foreclosed properties will be allowed to stay in their apartments, but will now have to pay their rent directly to the Munich District Court.

The investigation was opened following a communication between the Bavarian finance and justice ministries in early May which revealed that the owner was on the EU sanctions list.

The move comes after German Finance Minister Christian Lindner explained last week that Russian assets worth up to 4.5 billion euros in total – including central bank deposits, companies, ships and yachts – had been frozen.

EU sanctions against Kremlin supporters

The EU, along with countries such as the United States, Japan and Australia, have imposed several rounds of sanctions against Russian companies, banks, industries and individuals in light of Russian aggression against Ukraine.

The first sanctions were put in place just before Russia invaded Ukraine, but other sanctions have been introduced since then.

Russian lawmakers and oligarchs have been key targets in hopes that their loss of privileges abroad will spur them to pressure the Kremlin to end the war.

One of the first incidents to grab headlines saw Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich sell his property at London football club Chelsea FC.

ab/msh (dpa, AFP)

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Post expires at 4:54pm on Thursday June 30th, 2022