Russia approves sanctions compensation bill

Russia approves sanctions compensation bill

Wed Oct 8, 2014 4:8PM GMT

The Russian parliament has approved a bill granting payment to those targeted by Western sanctions and allowing Moscow the right to seize assets of such countries.

In a vote on Wednesday to decide on the bill, parliamentary members of the main Kremlin-backed party won over the opposition. The law would allow individuals affected by property seizures outside Russia to be compensated from the state budget.

The bill would also allow Moscow the right to seize property of any foreign citizens who start such cases against Russian individuals abroad.

Moreover, Russia may confiscate state property of that country, even if protected by diplomatic immunity.

The law must be voted on two more times and can be amended before the bill is finally approved.

In April, the bill was first proposed to parliament, but withdrawn after the government said it contradicted both international and Russian law.

Russian parliament reintroduced the bill in September, just one day after Italian authorities seized some USD 40-million worth of property owned by Russian businessman, Arkady Rotenberg.

The US and the European Union have imposed sanctions on Moscow over the crisis in Ukraine. The joint US and EU sanctions on Russia’s largest banks and energy companies aim to cut off the Kremlin from its main sources of income.

Russia, for its part, has imposed retaliatory bans.

Ukrainian authorities and the West have accused Moscow of meddling with the conflict in eastern parts of the country and supporting pro-Moscow protesters there. Russia, however, has repeatedly rejected the allegation.

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