MOSCOW (CBSNewYork/AP) — The Russian owner of the Brooklyn Nets says he is moving ahead with plans to transfer the NBA team’s ownership company to Russia.

Mikhail Prokhorov first announced last year that he wanted to shift control of the team to a Russian-based company after the Kremlin passed a law regulating foreign holdings for public officials.

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However, the move would also be in line with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent call for billionaires to register their businesses at home in the wake of U.S. sanctions following Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

Prokhorov said in remarks carried by Russian news wires Monday that the process of shifting ownership “is slowly going on.” Asked if he thinks potential U.S. sanctions could hurt him, Prokhorov said “it’s still unclear,” but “we are currently looking at it.”

NBA spokesman Mike Bass said the league has not received an application to transfer ownership of the Nets.

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Brooklyn, at 37-32, is in fifth place in the Eastern Conference and in second place in the Atlantic Division, two games behind the first-place Raptors.

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