MOSCOW, June 2. /TASS/. The Kremlin has pledged to protect Russian property abroad by legal means.
"It is rather a legal issue. Naturally, in what concerns legal backing, legal protection of Russian property, Moscow will take all necessary steps within the framework of international law," Russian president’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday, answering a question what could be the Kremlin’s actions if Ukraine tried to arrest Russian property abroad.
Earlier on Tuesday, spokesman for the Kremlin Property Management Department Viktor Khrekov told TASS Russia would use all legal mechanisms to protect its assets abroad against seizure. "All available legal mechanisms will be used and measures will be taken exclusively within the legal framework," Khrekov said, commenting on a statement by Ukrainian Deputy Justice Minister Natalia Sevostyanova that Kiev might demand seizure of Russia’s foreign property as compensation for the loss of Crimea.
He said "there is not a single property in Ukraine that belongs to Russia."
After the break-up of the Soviet Union, Russia signed agreements with the former Soviet republics on the repayment of their foreign debts in exchange for property. However, some ex-Soviet republics, for example, Ukraine, adopted the so-called blocking note and are trying to prevent property re-registration and are claiming some assets, Khrekov said, adding that Russia had repaid Soviet Ukraine’s foreign debts.
Negotiations on settling this issue have been going on for many years but have yielded no results so far, the Kremlin Property Management Department spokesman said.