Berlin targets sanctioned assets in Germany

BERLIN — German Finance Minister Christian Lindner said on Wednesday that his ministry is planning to amend the law to make it easier to target people sanctioned in relation to Russia’s war in Ukraine.

“We are looking into whether those on sanctions lists could be legally obliged to disclose their assets in Germany,” Lindner told reporters, adding that such a “legal obligation on the part of listed persons would then also be subject to fines or criminal prosecution.”

Lindner has set up a joint task force to tackle sanctions loopholes with the economy and climate ministry of Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck.

His remarks came on the same day the European Commission drafted a plan for a sixth package of sanctions against Russian President Vladimir Putin and allies and the Russian oil and banking sectors.

Habeck said that a embargo on Russian oil “has to be implemented and that there may be certain bumps along the way … But that is something different from saying that we would not be able to endure the oil embargo as a nation.”

He also addressed the huge number of Ukrainians who have fled to the EU to get away from the war, saying that the “task of the hour” was to find them accommodation and jobs.

Germany should also aid the thousands of Russians escaping Putin’s increasingly authoritarian government: “We also offer jobs to those who are fleeing or have already fled Russia and the Putin regime,” he said.

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