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Putin Signs Decree Allowing for Seizure of U.S. Property in Russia 

Vladimir Putin. Mikhail Sinitsyn, TASS /

President Vladimir Putin on Thursday signed a decree that allows Moscow to take control of U.S. property as compensation for any seizure of frozen Russian assets in the United States.

Washington and its European allies seized or blocked around $300 billion of Russian financial assets shortly after the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

In response to those punitive measures, Moscow moved the assets of many foreign investors to special accounts that cannot be transferred outside Russia without the Kremlin’s approval.

Thursday’s decree instructs Russia’s state commission on monitoring foreign investment to determine the types of U.S. property a Russian rights holder could seek to confiscate through the court as “compensation” for assets frozen in the United States.

The decree listed real estate, personal property, securities, shares and property rights as potential U.S.-owned assets potentially liable for seizure.

Russia’s government was instructed to make the necessary legal changes allowing for the U.S. property seizures by the end of September.

Since invading Ukraine over two years ago, Moscow has threatened to confiscate the Russia-based assets of countries it considers to be “hostile.”

Last year, Putin gave the green light for a temporary state takeover of the Russian divisions of the German energy giant Uniper and Finland’s Fortum in response to the “unfriendly U.S. actions.”

His decree on Thursday comes a month after U.S. President Joe Biden signed into law critical military aid to Ukraine, which also contained provisions for Washington to sell confiscated Russian assets and hand the proceeds to Kyiv for its post-war reconstruction efforts.

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