On Wednesday, the EU’s European Commission proposed to make breaking EU sanctions on Russia a crime, which would make it easier for the bloc to confiscate assets of people and companies that evade sanctions.
“Today’s proposals aim to ensure that the assets of individuals and entities that violate the restrictive measures can be effectively confiscated in the future,” the European Commission said in a statement.
Confiscating assets means they can be taken, sold, and used by the EU as opposed to freezing them, which only denies the targeted person access to their assets.
Breaking Russia sanctions is currently a crime in 12 EU nations. In 13 EU countries, it is either a criminal offense or an administrative offense, and two EU members only consider it an administrative offense.
Wednesday’s proposal would make evading Russia sanctions a serious criminal offense in all 27 EU countries. It would mean the EU could confiscate the assets of anyone who helped facilitate the skirting of sanctions, including lawyers and bankers.
The EU is also considering selling off the assets of already-sanctioned individuals, including Russian billionaires, to use the funds for Ukraine. President Biden is looking for similar power, but the federal government seizing private property without due process is a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment.