UK Cabinet minister Michael Gove said on Sunday that Britain wants to explore the option of using the homes and properties of sanctioned Russian individuals for humanitarian and other purposes.
When asked in an interview with the BBC if the homes of sanctioned oligarchs could be used to house Ukrainian refugees, Gove said, “There’s quite a high legal bar to cross and we are not talking about permanent confiscation, 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, more than that, while you are not using or profiting from it, if we can use it in order to help others let’s do that.'"
“In my view, it is the case that if your wealth and your influence is being deployed in order to support or provide comfort to Putin given what he is doing, then I’m afraid you have to bear the consequences," Gove said.
"The sanctions process involves us going through a rigorous analysis of just who should be subject to the sanctions," he said. "We’ve moved as rapidly as we possibly can but it seems to me that if we can use those assets for as long as someone is sanctioned in an appropriate way then we should."
Britain has sanctioned 800 of Russia’s most “significant and high-value individuals, entities and subsidiaries,” including banks, Putin’s inner circle, and oligarchs, according to the foreign office.