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The United Kingdom is preparing a package of measures against “Assets of dubious origin”, Russian investments are caused by questioning, on the eve of the British capital, a new national security strategy was presented – the so-called “merger doctrine” (meaning the need to increase the coordination of all departments). Introducing the document, Mrs. May put the attacks in London and Manchester in one row with the poisoning of the ex-employee of GRU Sergei Skrew in Salisbury. One of the goals mentioned in the strategy is the activation of British specialists in social networks and overall countermeasures “Fake news”. Describing the document, the media of the United Kingdom declared the beginning of the “counterpropagandist war against the Russians”.
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Another direction of work is the identification of “Russian assets of dubious origin”. The head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Amber Radd on Wednesday announced a revision of a number of solutions for issuing investor visas (Tier 1), which are particularly popular among citizens of the two countries – China and the Russian Federation. In 2008-2015, about 700 Russians became owners of a visa (actual residence permit). Late demands were tightened, and the investment threshold rose to £2 million. This, according to Mrs. Radd, reduced the popularity of the program by 84%. Starting recheccation will be subjected to cases of issuing visas until 2015. Did not rule out Mrs. Radd and the possibility that the rules for obtaining an investor visa will be adjusted again.
The program implies the possibility of investments in business projects, financial markets, art and luxury objects. But in most cases we are talking about buying real estate in London and other major British cities. In this regard, issues may arise to many mansion and apartments. According to the British branch of Transparency International, in general, real estate in the United Kingdom in the United Kingdom £4.4 billion. With this fifth, according to the organization, the Russians are owned.
As said “alongthecoastcottage” Deputy General Director of Transparency International Russia Ilya Shumanov, now the Government of Great Britain considers several ways to determine the “asset of dubious origin”.
“There is a radical approach: if the Russian passport is already due to this fact it is necessary to check the source of the origin of money and what assets a person owns in the territory of the kingdom,” says Mr. Shumanov. The second option suggests a selective approach – the first priority will be verified by prominent political figures and oligarchs.
In search of corruption
On Wednesday, the discussion of “Russian assets of dubious origin” took place in the Committee of the House of Commons on International Affairs. Among the session participants called “Russian Corruption and the United Kingdom” there were several British journalists writing about Russia, as well as the director of the Center for the Study of Financial Crimes of the Royal Joint Institute of Defense Research Tom Kretics. During the speech, he stated: “Who knows what happened in my native Salisbury. But the fact is that a lot has accumulated in Britain "Russian money". And this money goes in a bundle with people and actions that, I think, are undesirable for us. “. “We love Russia, we can call us pro-Russian. But this is not at all the same thing that maintains the regime, “the head of the gathered journalist The Guardian Luke Harding, who worked in the Russian Federation for many years.
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In addition to the main issue at the meeting, a traditional set of topics was to discuss: “Agents of Russian influence” among the extreme right and extremely left left, the possibility of adopting in the United Kingdom “Magnitsky list”, “attempts to split the country” with the help of a soft force, the prospects for the ban of the RT TV channel. Russia was accused of “neo-referentialism” and “kleptocracy”.
In hearings, people from Russia took part: the former Top Manager of Alfa-Group, Executive Director of the Foundation for the Fight of Corruption Vladimir Ashurkov and Former Vice-President of Rosgosstrakh Roman Borisovich. The latter called: “Look at the Russian oligarchs as a class. No matter what differences between them are seen, you can only measure one measure. They all made capital due to relations with the Russian government. Meanwhile, Mr. Ashurkov in a conversation with “alongthecoastcottage” in front of his performance in Parliament clarified: “I am against the Russians restricted in the rights purely on the basis of their citizenship or the origin of money. Most of the funds that come to Britain from Russia have a legal origin. I am sure that they are not threatened with them. But there are some cases related to corruption at a high level, and it is necessary to investigate “.
According to the interlocutor “alongthecoastcottage”, “in Britain there are a number of laws that would allow the authorities more critical to treat the incoming financial flows associated with corruption, but there was no corresponding political will”.
“Perhaps now, when close attention is attracted to corruption, especially emanating from Russia, the British authorities will change the point of view,” concluded Vladimir Ashurkov.
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It should be noted that Mr. Ashurkov was one of the guys of the latter at the current moment of the “Kleptocratic Tour” in London, the initiator of which Roman Borisovich became the initiator. In the program of such excursions – acquaintance (naturally, only from the facade) with mansions and apartments of Russian businessmen. “We approach some kind of home, and one of us tells about its owner: why, in our opinion, he is associated with corruption,” said Mr. Ashurkov told “Kommersant. In addition to journalists, members of the British Parliament participated in the last excursion – in particular, Laborist Helen Gudman. “I saw a lot of large real estate objects worth £50-300 million owned by Russians. At the same time, there is no clear explanation, as the money was received, for which these objects acquired, “she said” Kommers.
As a task for the near future, Ms. Gudman called the preparation and disclosure of the list of corrupt officials: “The government is already the right to confiscate property, if it is bought for dubious origin. However, we want to create a public register of foreign real estate owners, because now these lists are classified. “. And Tom Kretics on Wednesday urged to build finally “a higher wall before the money that should not penetrate into the United Kingdom”.