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The villa was one of the assets ordered to be frozen by the Italian Government as part of a crackdown on Putin’s oligarchs in the EU. The Italian fire brigade promptly put out the flames and flared up in the residence of Loveno, one of the three real estate properties of the oligarch Vladimir Solovyev.
At the moment, an attempt is being made to reconstruct the attack on the house via footage from the villa’s private patio cameras.
Over the past few days, with a certain crescendo, Solovyev had reiterated his positions and his personal thoughts on the invasion of Russia.
During the confiscation phase, he had protested considering the measure unfair and illogical.
The arson, according to initial investigations, is part of a precise strategy considering that of the overall three properties of Solovyev (value of 8 million euros), even a second home was the subject of a raid in the night: the external walls were smeared, and it is unknown if the real goal was to break into the house.
Vladimir Solovyev house was set on fire on the Lake Como (Image: VIGILI DEL FUOCO)
Vladimir Solovyev is a pro-Putin Russian TV Presenter (Image: Телеканал 1 1)
Russia news: A pile of tires was set fire on the villa’s porch (Image: REUTERS/Flavio Lo Scalzo)
Tires were used to start the fire.
More than a real arson attack, Italian media say it has been a demonstration act, which caused limited damage.
The fire was in fact set only on some tires outside the building under renovation in the upper part of the town, overlooking the lake.
The fire was noticed by some passersby who warned the firefighters and the carabinieri: the flames were soon extinguished.
Investigators of the Carabinieri work outside of the villa owned by Vladimir Soloviev (Image: REUTERS/Flavio Lo Scalzo)
It comes as the EU Commission proposed sweeping new sanctions against Russia on Tuesday including banning coal imports and halting trade worth nearly 20 billion euros in retaliation over possible war crimes in Ukraine.
The proposals include banning imports of coal, wood, cement, liquors and seafood worth about 9.5 billion euros a year, according to the European Commission. A source said the restrictions would also hit caviar, vodka, rubber and chemicals.
Coal alone is worth 4 billion euros a year, the Commission said. As a comparison, the EU imported about 100 billion euros of oil and gas from Russia last year. The Commission said it was working on possible sanction on oil, as well.
Brussels is proposing a ban on exports to Russia worth another 10 billion euros a year, including of advanced semiconductors, quantum computers, and other electrical and transport equipment. The export of technology for liquefied natural gas (LNG) would also be banned, according to a source.
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Vladimir Putin calls Russia’s invasion of Ukraine a ‘special operation’ (Image: GETTY)
Russian vessels and trucks would be prevented from accessing the EU, further crippling trade. Energy products, food and medicines would be exempted, meaning for example that LNG cargoes from Russia would not be affected.
Applying the sanctions may be complicated, officials have repeatedly said because it is not always easy to identify the origin of a cargo ship.
The new sanctions would effectively halt transport of goods by road and sea. The EU has already banned air traffic with Russia.
Thirty six more individuals, including oligarchs and politicians, will be added to the EU’s sanctions list, according to an EU source. The existing sanctions list already comprises hundreds. In addition to this, separatist leaders would also be added.