Vladimir Putin’s posse of billionaires may have their assets seized.
The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board, February 27, 2022
After a weak initial effort last week, the U.S. and Europe are getting more serious about pursuing the wealth of Vladimir Putin’s billionaire coterie. The countries said Saturday they’re creating a trans-Atlantic task force to find and seize their ill-gotten assets.
The task force will “identify, hunt down, and freeze the assets of sanctioned Russian companies and oligarchs,” said a senior Biden Administration official. “We’ll go after their yachts, their luxury apartments, their money, and their ability to send their kids to fancy colleges in the West.”
That’s progress, assuming they follow through and expand the sanctions list to all the right people. Dissident Alexei Navalny’s outfit has named 35, and there are more. They can’t stop Mr. Putin’s marauding, but their squealing might get his attention.
Roman Abramovich handed control of his Chelsea soccer club to a foundation, perhaps for fear it might be seized if he controls it. The pro-Putin Russian television personality, Vladimir Soloviev, complained Friday about sanctions that might block access to his property near Italy’s Lake Como. “Is this the Iron Curtain?” he said.
Ask your Kremlin keepers, sir. If you benefit from a regime that invades and murders free people, you shouldn’t be able to enjoy the fruits of that freedom.