EU freezes assets of Russia’s leading oligarchs and allies of Putin

The EU has frozen the property and imposed a journey ban on extra than half a dozen of Russia’s most distinguished oligarchs, lots of of them with shut ties to President Vladimir Putin, as it penalises some of the country’s most impressive persons subsequent the invasion of Ukraine.

The persons strike by the measures include things like Mikhail Fridman, the founder of Alfa Team, and fellow shareholder Petr Aven Igor Sechin and Nikolai Tokarev, the respective chief executives of oil organizations Rosneft and Transneft and financier Alisher Usmanov.

The blacklistings, which just take instant impact, are the hottest in a round of progressively punitive sanctions that the EU began employing final 7 days as it seeks methods of damaging the Russian financial system and hampering Putin’s war effort. Measures imposed by the US and western allies versus the Russian central financial institution led to a steep decline in the rouble as very well as frantic income withdrawals by Russian citizens.

Amongst individuals strike by the restrictive actions, agreed by member states on Monday, is Fridman, who is described in the EU statement asserting the sanctions checklist as “a prime Russian financier and enabler of Putin’s inner circle”. It additional that Fridman “actively supported materially or economically and benefited from Russian decision makers dependable for the annexation of Crimea and the destabilisation of Ukraine”.

His financial institution, Alfa-Lender, is previously issue to EU sanctions on issuing bonds, shares and loans in the EU for refinancing, whilst the US has imposed financial debt and fairness limits. Aven, meanwhile, is explained as a single of the president’s “closest oligarchs”.

Putin’s longtime good friend Gennady Timchenko, the founder and shareholder of Volga Team, is also on the EU listing. He is a shareholder of Financial institution Rossiya, which is presently underneath sanctions imposed by the EU and Uk.

Rosneft chief Sechin is described as one particular of Putin’s “most reliable and closest advisers, as properly as his personal friend”, who had been in make contact with with the president on a day by day foundation and has been acquiring fiscal gains and “important assignments in return for subordination and loyalty”.

Sechin is already issue to a vacation ban and asset freeze by the US, as is his son.

Tokarev, the main govt of Russian oil and fuel pipeline corporation Transneft, served with Putin in the KGB and is explained by the EU to be “one of the point out oligarchs who assumed command above huge condition belongings in the 2000s as Putin consolidated power, and who operates in shut partnership with the Russian state”.

Clockwise from top rated still left: Transneft chief Nikolai Tokarev, Sergei Roldugin, Severstal’s Alexei Mordashov and Alfa Group’s Petr Aven © TASS/Getty

Other names on the checklist consist of Usmanov, 1 of Putin’s “favourite oligarchs”, and Sergei Roldugin, dubbed “Putin’s wallet”, who retains his assets at Financial institution Rossiya.

The EU cites an investigation by an international media consortium which alleged that Roldugin is dependable for “shuffling” at least $2bn through banks and offshore businesses as a component of Putin’s hidden fiscal network.

A further Rossiya shareholder and businessman on the EU’s list is Alexei Mordashov, chair of steelmaker Severstal and Severgroup, which the EU stated controls television stations that actively support Moscow’s policies of destabilising Ukraine. He also owns 34 per cent of Germany-shown travel group Tui.

Severstal on Monday released a statement on behalf of Mordashov in reaction to the sanctions: “I have never been near to politics and have constantly focused on building economic worth at the providers I have worked for equally in Russia and abroad.”

It included: “I fail to fully grasp how these sanctions against me will lead to the settlement of the dreadful conflict in Ukraine.”

Fridman and Aven “are profoundly stunned by the demonstrably fake allegations . . . purporting to justify the basis on which they have been sanctioned”, stated LetterOne, their London-based mostly non-public fairness business.

“They will struggle this injustice with every sinew — for on their own and the tens of thousands of personnel in the United kingdom and Europe who rely on them,” LetterOne said. They “have constantly been totally transparent about their dealings and supply of wealth. Sanctioning them dependent on disproven and destructive gossip will have no effects on Russia’s steps in Ukraine.”

Usmanov declined to comment.

The chair of Moscow’s international airport, Alexander Ponomarenko, is another oligarch on the record with shut one-way links to Putin’s interior circle and with the leadership in Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014. Like many other oligarchs, Ponomarenko experienced financed a palace elaborate regarded as to be personally employed by Putin, the EU stated.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was also on the record.

The blacklist has been extended to include things like extra govt and military officials. Gasoline insurance coverage enterprise Sogaz, which insured the development of the railway bridge connecting the Crimean peninsula to Russia, has been additional to the checklist of economic services firms involved in the actions.

6 of the people today hit by EU steps

Igor Sechin

Igor Sechin

Igor Sechin is the chief government of Rosneft, Russia’s top oil producer. A previous member of the siloviki, the term utilized to describe figures with a armed service and protection qualifications, Sechin labored with Vladimir Putin in the St Petersburg mayor’s business in the 1990s. Putin introduced him to Moscow when becoming a member of the national government. Sechin served as deputy of the Kremlin’s administration and Russia’s deputy primary minister prior to becoming appointed head of Rosneft in 2012.

Alisher Usmanov

Alisher Usmanov

Alisher Usmanov is a Russian billionaire who was at the time the country’s richest person. A metals and technology tycoon, Uzbekistan-born Usmanov controls Russia’s next-major cellular phone network, MegaFon, and metals giant Metalloinvest, together with other organizations through his USM Holdings. Usmanov was among Facebook’s biggest traders at one level and held a stake in Russia’s biggest web firm,, ahead of providing in 2021.

Mikhail Fridman

Mikhail Fridman

Mikhail Fridman is the co-founder of Alfa Team, which owns Russia’s major privately owned financial institution Alfa-Lender, major supermarket chain X5 and cellular operator Veon. He operates London-based private fairness company LetterOne, which he set up with associates in London in 2013, working with $14bn raised from the sale of a stake in oil team TNK-BP to Rosneft, to commit in electrical power, telecommunications and know-how. Fridman divides his time concerning Moscow, where the Russian version of Forbes estimates his fortune at $15.5bn, and London, wherever he was named the UK’s 11th richest male by the Sunday Situations. He grew up in Lviv in western Ukraine.

Petr Aven

Petr Aven

Petr Aven, Fridman’s associate, joined Alfa just after serving as Russia’s trade minister in the early 1990s and is chair of the group’s bank. He also divides his time involving London and Moscow. Aven has revealed various books centered on interviews with fellow large gamers in Russia’s turbulent 1990s, such as a single on the late oligarch Boris Berezovsky.

Nikolai Tokarev

Nikolai Tokarev

Nikolai Tokarev heads Russia’s point out-managed oil pipeline operator Transneft. He is a former KGB officer who served with Putin in Dresden, then East Germany, in the 1980s. Tokarev formerly headed Zarubezhneft, 1 of Russia’s largest oil producers. Transneft has constructed vital export oil pipelines during his tenure.

Alexei Mordashov

Alexei Mordashov

Alexei Mordashov, Russia’s richest male, owns Severstal, one of Russia’s major steelmakers. He labored his way up from serving as an economist at Severstal’s creating enterprise at Cherepovets in western Russia to a major shareholder at the corporation. His other organization passions involve a 32 per cent share in German tour operator Tui and he owns 50 % of Tele2, one particular of the premier telecommunications organizations in Russia.

Video clip: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine: what subsequent? | FT Reside

Minnie Arwood

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