The European Union has proposed a property transaction prohibition to its sixth package of sanctions aimed at increasing pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin.
According to the legal text seen by Bloomberg News, the European Commission’s proposal would prohibit the sale or transfer, directly or indirectly, of “ownership rights in immovable property located within the territory of the Union or units in collective investment undertakings providing exposure to such immovable property.”
The embargo is part of the EU’s newest effort against Russia’s government and oligarchs, which will for the first time target Moscow’s rich oil industry as well as Sberbank, the country’s largest bank. EU member states must vote in favor of the idea.
Russians who are not EU nationals and do not have a resident permit in one of the EU member states are subject to the ban. It does not apply to persons with European Economic Area residency or Swiss citizenship.
Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, several Russian billionaires have moved some or all of their money outside of their state, acquiring property in the EU.
Suleiman Kerimov has been linked to a high-end house in the country with a tennis court and a huge circular outdoor pool, while Roman Abramovich has a 26,000 square-foot castle in France with a rooftop pool.
Other luxury assets for Russia’s ultra-wealthy have previously been targeted by the EU, the US, and the UK. Since the commencement of the Ukrainian conflict, more than a dozen superyachts have been confiscated or seized in European ports as part of Russian billionaire sanctions.
Dilbar, a 156-meter (512-foot) motor yacht owned by Alisher Usmanov, who has been sanctioned by the US, UK, and EU, is one of the largest and most costly of the seized vessels.