MOSCOW, March 5 (RIA Novosti) – The upper house of Russia’s parliament is mulling measures allowing property and assets of European and US companies to be confiscated in the event of sanctions being adopted against Russia over its threatened military intervention in Ukraine.
The bill’s author, Federation Council constitutional legislation committee head Andrei Klishas, said Wednesday that lawyers are currently studying whether the proposed confiscations would be constitutional.
“But we have no doubts that it clearly corresponds to European standards,” Klishas told RIA Novosti. “The recent events in Cyprus spring to mind, where the confiscation of assets was the main demand made by the European Union in return for economic aid.”
An adviser to President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that authorities would issue general advice to dump US government bonds if Russian companies and individuals were targeted by sanctions over events in Ukraine.
According to US Treasury data from the end of 2013, Russian investments in US government bonds total around $139 billion out of a total of $5.8 trillion of US debt held in foreign hands.
Earlier this week, US and European officials warned that Russia’s alleged actions in Ukraine could lead to economic sanctions and asset freezes. US Secretary of State John Kerry told NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday that the United States and some of its allies were “prepared to go to the hilt to isolate Russia.”
Putin has denied any Russian troops have already been deployed in the southern Ukrainian republic of Crimea, although numerous eyewitnesses have reported seeing large numbers of well-armed troops without insignia moving around the peninsula in military vehicles bearing Russian license plates.