Italy freezes real estate owned by two Russian oligarchs -sources

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Grigory Berezkin, Chairman of the Board of Directors of ESN Group, attends a session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum

MILAN (Reuters) – Italy on Monday froze some real estate properties owned by two Russian oligarchs in the luxurious seaside resort of Portofino, in Sirmione on Lake Garda and in Rome, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said.

Guardia di Finanza police seized Villa Altachiara, a mansion with a park on the Portofino promontory on the Ligurian Sea, and a property and a car in Rome from Eduard Khudainatov, the former chief of Russian energy giant Rosneft.

Khudainatov was placed on the EU sanction blacklist following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, one of the sources said, adding that his assets are worth around 57 million euros ($55.86 million).

In May, Italian police impounded a luxury yacht worth some $700 million believed to be owned by Khudainatov and that has been linked in the media to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In a separate operation, police froze a complex property in Sirmione, a town on Lake Garda in northeastern Italy, worth more than 15 million euros. One of the sources said it belongs to Grigory Berezkin, the chairman of “Esn”, a Russian private equity group.

Italy sequestered villas and yachts worth over 900 million euros in March and April from wealthy Russians, who regularly came to the country on holiday and had bought property in many prestigious locations.

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The total value of assets seized so far in Italy from Russian oligarchs is more than 1.7 billion euros, according to an updated official list of the Guardia di Finanza.

($1 = 1.0204 euros)

(Reporting by Emilio Parodi; Editing by Leslie Adler)