Ukraine sanctions Austria architecture firm designing Crimea theatre
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Ukraine sanctions Austria architecture firm designing Crimea theatre

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy Saturday issued a decree imposing sanctions on Austrian architecture firm Coop Himmelb(L)au and six of its representatives, including its founder Wolf D. Prix. The firm has been designing an opera and ballet theatre in Sevastopol, the largest city in Crimea.

The procedure for imposing sanctions on the architecture firm was commenced by the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in March 2021. The decree restricts the firm’s right to use and dispose of property. It also curtails the firm’s trade operations by prohibiting import and export. The firm cannot withdraw capital from Ukraine and its licenses and permitting documents are to be revoked. Special permits for subsoil use are suspended.

Representatives of the firm are banned from entering the territory of Ukraine. Their assets in Ukraine will be frozen for the time being. They are also prohibited from participating in privatization in the country. The period of operation of these restrictions is five years.

In a statement to Austrian Publication Süddeutsche Zeitung, Wolf said that he sees “nothing wrong” with the fact that his work will be implemented on the territory illegally annexed by Russia. Coop Himmelb(L)au’s website reports that the ballet and opera theatre it is designing is located in “Sevastopol, Russia.”

The Crimean port city of Sevastopol is considered by Ukraine to be a part of its territory. It has been under Russian administration since the annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014. The measure is among the slew of sanctions imposed by Kyiv on individuals and entities it believes are complicit in Russia’s efforts to legitimize the annexation.