MOSCOW, March 5 (RAPSI) – The Federation Council, the upper house of Russia’s parliament, is developing a bill that would provide for the confiscation of the assets and accounts of European and Amercian companies, including private ones, pending the imposition of economic sanctions against Russia.
The bill’s sponsor, Senator Andrei Klishas, said that legal advisors are currently working to clarify whether such measures would be in accordance with the Constitution. The draft bill proposes to empower the president and government with the right to make the relevant executive decisions to protect Russia’s sovereignty.
“We have no doubts that such measures will be in accordance with European standards. 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,” Klishas added.
An adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that the authorities would issue general advice to dump US government bonds in the event of Russian companies and individuals being 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.”