EU fines Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich in new sponsorship package – POLITICO

The EU will sanction Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich as part of a new package of sanctions targeting Russian business and media, as well as some defense companies.

EU diplomats finalized the text of the sanctions on Monday, which will be the fourth round of EU sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

Abramovich is well known throughout Europe as the longtime owner of Chelsea Football Club in England – a position he will be forced to relinquish amid the British sanctions.

The EU is specifically targeting the Russian billionaire because of his “privileged access” to Russian President Vladimir Putin, with whom Abramovich retains “a very good relationship”, according to the draft of the sanctions document POLITICO see. Those friendly relationships, the document says, have helped support Abramovich, making him “one of Russia’s leading businessmen” in industries that bring in “significant revenue.” to the Russian government, helping Moscow fund its military efforts.

However, not on the EU list is leading Russian industrialist Oleg Deripaska, a notable omission after the British government sanctioned him last week.

However, the latest EU sanctions package targets a wide range of Russian celebrities.

It strikes German Khan, a major shareholder of Alfa Group, one of Russia’s largest private investment firms, who is “arguably one of the most influential people in Russia”, according to EU documents . Alexey Kuzmichev, another Alfa Group shareholder, is also on the list. They join other Alfa Group shareholders such as Mikhail Fridman and Petr Aven, who were targeted in an earlier round of EU sanctions.

The latest list also includes Viktor Rashnikov, the owner of MMK, one of the world’s largest steel producers. The document describes him as “one of Russia’s largest taxpayers.” In addition, the list includes Vladimir Rashevsky, CEO of EuroChem Group, one of the world’s largest producers of mineral fertilizers.

In explaining its rationale, the EU sanctions document emphasizes each person’s relationship to either Putin’s regime or Putin himself.

For example, the document notes that Andrey Ryumin, head of state-controlled energy grid operator Rosseti PJSC, attended the oligarchs’ meeting with Putin on February 22, just two days before Moscow launched the war in Ukraine. According to the document, his attendance at the meeting, called to discuss the impact of Western sanctions on Russia, “shows that he is a member of the oligarchic circle close to Vladimir Putin.”

Then there is Suleyman Kerimov, who owns the financial and industrial group Nafta Moscow. The EU document says Kerimov’s $9.8 billion fortune was built in part by “a large sum of money from Sergei Roldugin, the custodian of Vladimir Putin’s fortune”.

Several media personalities are also on the latest EU sanctions list. There is Armen Gasparyan, whose program is on the Russian state-owned channel Sputnik, as well as Artyom Sheynin, the host of the program “”Vremya Pokazhet” (“Time will tell”) on state-controlled Channel One TV. The EU also targeted Channel One’s CEO, Konstantin Ernst.

The nine companies are mainly active in the defense and military sectors. One notable company is the shipbuilding company Zelenodolsk Shipyar. The company built The Black Sea Fleet patrol vessel “Vasily Bykov” attacked Snake Island on the first day of the Russian invasion – an episode that became famous amid reports that besieged Ukrainian soldiers had answer “go fuck me” when asked to surrender. EU fines Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich in new sponsorship package - POLITICO

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