MOSCOW, October 15 (RAPSI) – Yevgeny Fyodorov, a lawmaker for the United Russia party, has proposed a bill setting rules for the seizure of assets in Russia owned by foreign businesses as a response to Western sanctions over the Ukraine crisis, Izvestia newspaper reports on Wednesday.

“The idea is to introduce a system to recover damages that result from illegal rulings of foreign courts to seize the property of Russia or Russia’s representatives, including individuals and companies,” the newspaper writes, citing Fyodorov’s bill on the protection of property rights of the Russian Federation, Russian citizens and Russian legal entities from sanctions imposed on them by foreign states.

The bill would allow Russian citizens and legal entities whose property was seized abroad to file a lawsuit with a Russian commercial court to seize the property of representatives of the given state. If the court rules in favor of the plaintiff, foreign property could be seized and turned over to a special anti-sanctions fund, which would be managed by the Russian government. The person or company harmed by the sanctions and the seizure of their property would be able to receive compensation from this fund, the newspaper writes.

“We have approximately $700 billion worth of foreign money in Russia, and the possibility of seizing it would prevent further sanctions,” Fyodorov believes.

The relations between Russia and the West have gone sour because of the situation in Ukraine. After Russia annexed Crimea and the military operation began in southeastern Ukraine, the US and the EU imposed a number of restrictions against companies, banks and entire sectors of the Russian economy, including the oil industry.

The most recent sanctions against Russia were introduced on September 12. Russia responded with limiting the imports of farming produce from the US, the EU, Canada, Australia and Norway.