Between 2009 and 2020, Moscow businessman Andrei Ovsyankin snapped up $3.7-million worth of Calgary real estate, including a unit in a glassy downtown condo tower and a suite in the East Village.
But now he is deeply indebted, and the money earned from the sale of his Alberta properties is poised to fall into the hands of a Russian bank Canada has sanctioned over its alleged role in the Ukraine war.
The province has seized the 10 properties, and the Alberta court has ordered them sold off to enforce a judgment requiring Ovsyankin to pay millions to a company allegedly controlled by Russia’s Gazprombank.
Gazprombank is the financial arm of Russia’s state energy giant, Gazprom. Accused of supporting Russia’s attempt to annex Ukraine, Gazprombank and its officers and affiliates have been placed on Canada’s sanctions list.
Despite the sanctions, there is no indication the governments of Canada or Alberta have taken action to stop Gazprombank from collecting the proceeds of the Calgary property sales, or that they are even aware of the matter.