UK housing official says he wants to ‘explore’ the idea of using the sanctioned properties of Russian oligarchs to aid refugees


UK Housing Minister Michael Gove said he wants to “explore” the idea of using the properties of sanctioned Russian oligarchs to house refugees fleeing Ukraine.

“I want to explore an option which would allow us to use the homes and properties of sanctioned individuals for as long as they are sanctioned for humanitarian and other purposes,” Gove told BBC Television on Sunday, Reuters reported.

“There is quite a high legal bar to cross and we’re not talking about permanent confiscation,” Gove added, per the outlet. “But we are saying, ‘you’re sanctioned, you’re supporting Putin, this home is here, you have no right to use or profit from it’ and … if we can use it in order to help others let’s do that.”

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the UK government sanctioned several oligarchs, resulting in banning them from traveling to the country, freezing their assets, and prohibiting them from conducting business with any UK company or citizen. Those included on the UK’s list are Roman Abramovich, Oleg Deripaska, Igor Ivanovich Sechin, Andrey Kostin, and Alexei Miller.

“There can be no safe havens for those who have supported Putin’s vicious assault on Ukraine,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a March 10 press release.

Earlier this month, the United Nations said over 2 million people have fled Ukraine to escape the war. As Reuters reported, Britain officials announced that they will give about $456 dollars to families who can offer refugees housing for a minimum of six months.

When Gove was questioned if he himself would take in a refugee, he said that he would, according to The Independent.

“I’m exploring what I can do, I know that there are others who have. Without going into my personal circumstances, there are a couple of things I need to sort out, but yes,” Gove said, according to the outlet.

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