A British minister said, on Sunday, that the homes and properties of Russian oligarchs subject to sanctions could be used to house refugees from Ukraine in the United Kingdom.
In an interview with the BBC, Housing Secretary Michael Gove said he wanted to “consider an option that would allow us to use the homes and property of sanctioned individuals for humanitarian and other purposes”.
“There is a very big legal hurdle to cross and we are not talking about permanent confiscation.”
“But we say, ‘You’re punished, you support Putin, this house is here, you don’t have the right to use it or take advantage of it… If we can use it to help others, let’s do it.'” Gove said during the BBC’s Sunday Morning programme.
He added that the British government wanted to tighten the current measures that prevent the few from selling their homes in the UK but not from living there.
“If your wealth and influence is used to support or console Putin, given what you’re doing, I’m afraid you will have to pay the consequences,” he threatened.
Aid of 2300 BRL
Goff also announced that the British government would pay £350 a month to anyone offering to stay in the UK for Ukrainians fleeing the conflict for at least six months.
The title of the government program was “Houses for Ukraine”. Interested parties must register on the platform, which will be available from Monday (14/3).
When asked if he would give his home to a refugee, he replied, “Yes.”
“I’m thinking about what I can do,” he added. “Without going into my personal circumstances, there are a few things I need to work out – but yeah.”
On whether the government was too slow to respond to the crisis, Gove said it was “normal” for the refugees to go to Ukraine’s geographic neighbors first, but the monthly aid was Britain’s fastest way to help those affected by the war.
The UK has been criticized for not accepting Ukrainian refugees to the same extent as other European countries. Ukrainians who wish to live in the country still have to obtain a visa. But, according to Gove, the procedure will be simplified.
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