Jonathan Djanogly speaks in a debate on the Foreign Affairs Committee Report on illicit finance and the war in Ukraine, and raises Ukrainian calls to turn the existing freezing sanctions into confiscation sanctions and use the money raised for the reconstruction of Ukraine.
Mr Jonathan Djanogly (Huntingdon) (Con)
My hon. Friend is making a very powerful case. I agree with everything he has to say. On sanctions, he will know, not least from the talk he did yesterday afternoon with a group of Ukrainians, that there is a big call in Ukraine at the moment to turn the freezing sanctions into confiscation sanctions, and to use the money we are holding, which would presumably otherwise be given back to the oligarchs, for the reconstruction of Ukraine. Would my hon. Friend comment on that?
I would love to; we were debating that yesterday at the Henry Jackson Society with Bill Browder and a number of other people. My hon. Friend is welcome to correct me on this, but I think Canada has prepared an Act to enable that frozen money effectively to be given to the Ukrainian authorities or set up in some kind of international fund to help reconstruction in Ukraine.
The Act is quite straightforward. By way of clarification, it takes the existing sanctions legislation, including the Canadian Magnitsky law, and latches on to that the ability to change freezing orders into confiscation orders. It is a relatively simple way of going about what could be a very complicated process.
Indeed. If it is effective, I look forward to working with my hon. Friend, and potentially other Members, to see how we can bring in such a law in the UK, so that we move from freezing money to taking money and using it for a more moral purpose.