Secretary Michael Gove says he also wants to use the seized homes of Russian oligarchs in the UK to home Ukrainian refugees – what do you think of the proposal?
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The UK government has received heavy criticism over its efforts to help Ukrainian refugees fleeing from Russian invasion, bringing shame to the majority of Mirror readers.
Now, the government is pushing a “sponsored” humanitarian route to allow Ukrainians without family links to the UK to come into the country. Secretary Michael Gove says he also wants to use the seized homes of Russian oligarchs to home Ukrainian refugees.
Oligarchs including Chelsea FC Owner Roman Abramovich have had their assets frozen by the British government – meaning the billionaires aren’t even aloud to have cleaners go inside the property.
Abramovich made headlines in 2011 for buying a £90m mansion on Kensington Palace Gardens – a lavish street in central London commonly referred to as ‘billionaires’ row’. His 15-bedroom property remains empty.
Do you think seized homes of oligarchs should be used to home refugees? Have your say in the survey below
Announcing the UK sanctions against oligarchs including Abramovich, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said: “[These] sanctions show once again that oligarchs and kleptocrats have no place in our economy or society. With their close links to Putin they are complicit in his aggression.
“The blood of the Ukrainian people is on their hands. They should hang their heads in shame.
“Our support for Ukraine will not waver. We will not stop in this mission to ramp up the pressure on the Putin regime and choke off funds to his brutal war machine.”
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Speaking on the BBC’s Sunday Morning programme, Gove says he now wants to “explore an option which would allow us to use the homes and properties of sanctioned individuals – as long as they are sanctioned – for humanitarian and other purpose”.
He added: “There’s quite a high legal bar to cross and we’re not talking about permanent forfeiture.
“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’.”