Britain intends to stay against Russia influencing tycoons' assets

Source : 112 Ukraine

Boris Johnson, the U.K. Foreign Secretary specified that Putin's allies who stay there can be targeted by the anti-corruption means and it is definitely the threat for them
19:25, 16 March 2018

Open source

The UK intends to increase the vulnerability of Russia by influencing the assets of the Russians living in Britain as The New York Times reported.

According to the title, Therese May, the Prime Minister of the UK in her desire to influence Russia more, can find they way of the implementation of this idea through the Russian businessmen and oligarchs, such as Abramovich or Shuvalov who work and live in Britain.

Moreover, Boris Johnson, the U.K. Foreign Secretary specified that Putin's allies who stay there can be targeted by the anti-corruption means and it is definitely the threat for them.

'If you start to take away Astons and Bentleys and huge apartments in Kensington, freezing those assets, people will care a lot more', said Cliff Kupchan, the chairman of Eurasia Group, a consulting firm, adding that the pressure would be conveyed to Mr. Putin.

Related: Nerve agent could be planted to daughter of Skripal in Moscow, - mass media

As it is known the wealthy Russians began shifting their money into Britain in the mid-1990s and as it was stated that since 2006, around $129 billion had flowed into Britain through secret offshore transactions, much of it from Russia.

However, Putin condemned capital flight as unpatriotic, he tolerates it in his inner circle as Kupchan said.

'Putin wants repatriation, but the social contract is that if you show loyalty, you can live the way you want', he said.

One of the reasons for Britain as a so-called shelter is that it refuses extradition requests from Russia. However, the government has promised this will change. Due to the poisoning of Skripal, May promised to freeze all Russian state assets wherever we have the evidence that they may be used to threaten the life or property of U.K. nationals or residents.  

Related: Former KGB agent reports on threats month before Skripal’s poisoning

The U. K. Prime Minister has several tools available to challenge the legitimacy of Russian holdings. Just six weeks ago, Britain rolled out a new campaign to stem the flow of dirty money into its real estate sector with the first-ever 'unexplained wealth order'. It requires the target to present a court with evidence that the property was purchased with legal funds. If that fails, the state can seize the asset.

May also promised on Wednesday to introduce legislation similar to the Magnitsky Act in the United States. That act allows American officials to deny visas to Russians implicated in human rights violations and freeze their assets. In 2012, when Congress passed its legislation, the British government chose not to follow suit, arguing that it had sufficient sanction powers.

One concern for Britain is whether the measures would jeopardize British business interests in Russia — in particular, its flagship oil producer, BP, which owns a 20 percent stake in Rosneft, the Russian oil and gas giant.

Related: Britain to expel 23 Russian diplomats due to Skripal's case

The conflict between Russia and the United Kingdom deepened eleven days after a former Russian spy was poisoned with a military-grade nerve agent in Salisbury. Skripal along with his daughter are in a coma, the police officer, who came to the accident scene first, is in the hospital I a critical condition.

The whole case turned out to be high-profile. The British media call the poisoning 'Litvinenko-2', referring to the poisoning of ex-FSB agent Aleksandr Litvinenko in 2006. British PM Theresa May announced that 23 Russian diplomats will be sent off from the UK due to the attack on Skripal. Foreign Minister Boris Johnson added that the leading Russian officials and members of the royal family are not going to visit Russia for FIFA World Cup matches. Johnson also said that the government considers the option to ban the national football team from the competition.

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