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EU plans to prevent Russians from buying property as full details of new round of sanctions clear up

The Commission's sixth package of sanctions now includes an EU-wide ban on property transactions with Russian nationals.

The European Commission proposes to stop property deals with Russian individuals, residents, and entities, prohibiting the sale or transfer of ownership rights in property in the bloc, directly or indirectly.

It is intended to cover land and structures "within the territory of the Union or units in collective investment undertakings providing exposure to such immovable property."

The latest EU action targets both the Russian state and oligarchs, as well as the lucrative oil industry and Sberbank, the Russian state's largest bank, for the first time.

The prohibition applies to Russians who are not EU citizens and do not have a residency permit in EU member states, according to the text of the sixth sanctions round.

It will not apply to those who have citizenship or residency in the European Economic Area or Switzerland on this basis.

Many Russian elites have purchased property in the EU over the last two decades, including Roman Abramovich, who owns a 26,000 square-foot chateau in France.

He owns a lot of property in London, which has become the main conduit for the Kremlin's and the elite's wealth outside of the EU.

Suleiman Kerimov has been linked to a high-end property in France that includes a tennis court and a giant oval outdoor pool.

As Foreign Secretary Liz Truss announced a ban on services exports to Russia, the United Kingdom joins the effort to effectively shut down sectors critical to the Russian economy with which it does business.

Russian businesses will no longer be able to use Britain's world-class accountancy, management consulting, and public relations services, which account for 10% of Russian imports in these areas, as a result of the new measures.

"Cutting Russia’s access to British services will put more pressure on the Kremlin and ultimately help ensure Putin fails in Ukraine," said Liz Truss.

Ursula von der Leyen told the European Parliament today that European Union countries will stop importing Russian oil and refined products by the end of the year, as previously announced (Wednesday).

The President of the European Commission announced a sixth round of sanctions against Russia for its war in Ukraine, promising to keep the impact on European economies to a minimum.

The EU Commission will also ask the bloc's 27 member states to deny Sberbank, Russia's largest bank, access to SWIFT, the global banking communications system, according to the EU chief.

According to sources, Brussels will also try to cut the Credit Bank of Moscow and the Russian Agricultural Bank off from the SWIFT international payments system.

As part of the latest sanctions package, the EU will also ban three Russian state-owned broadcasters.

"They will not be allowed to distribute their content anymore in the European Union," Ms von der Leyen said, "in whatever shape or form, be it on cable, via satellite, on the internet or via smartphone apps."

Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, is also said to be among those sanctioned.

The new list includes 58 people, including many Russian military personnel as well as Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov's wife, daughter, and son.

If EU governments agree to the plan, it will be a watershed moment for the world's largest trading bloc, which is reliant on Russian energy and must find alternative sources.

"We will phase out Russian supply of crude oil within six months and refined products by the end of the year," she said, drawing applause from MEPs.

"This will be a complete import ban on all Russian oil, seaborne and pipeline, crude and refined. It will not be easy. Some member states are strongly dependent on Russian oil. But we simply have to work on it. Putin must pay a price, a high price, for his brutal aggression."

The commission's recommendations must now be approved by the 27 member states.

Because Hungary and Slovakia are so reliant on Russian energy, diplomats believe they will be given a longer period to stop importing oil.

She referred to the television stations as "mouthpieces" that "amplify (President) Putin’s lies and propaganda aggressively."

"We should not give them a stage anymore to spread these lies," she continued.

Ms von der Leyen said to the Kremlin, "You are not getting away with this."

MEPs were told that the commission was proposing a recovery package for Ukraine to aid in its post-war reconstruction.

"This package should bring massive investment to meet the needs and the necessary reforms. Eventually, it will pave the way for Ukraine’s future inside the European Union," she predicted.



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