Roman Abramovich and six other Russians punished – travel ban and asset freeze explained


Chelsea football club owner Roman Abramovich has been punished for his involvement with Russia’s Vladimir Putin as the UK freezes assets for seven tycoons accused of having “Ukrainian blood in their hands”. .

The UK’s newly updated sanctions list says Mr Abramovich has a “close relationship for decades” with Putin, something the football club boss has previously denied.

The Russian businessman is named alongside billionaires Igor Sechin and Oleg Deripaska on the list of imposing asset freezes, travel bans and trading bans with individuals and businesses in the UK.

These elite individuals have a combined net worth of £15 billion, the Foreign Office said in an official statement.

“The blood of the Ukrainian people is on their hands,” Foreign Minister Liz Truss said.

Today’s decision brings the total number of Russian oligarchs sanctioned by the UK to 18, with five others already on the list.

Sanctions have also been imposed on Putin, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and several Belarusian officials

The scene of the fire at the building of the Faculty of Economics of Karazin Kharkiv . National University


AFP via Getty Images)

Liz Truss said: “Today’s sanctions show once again that financiers and kleptocrats have no place in our economy or society. Given their close connection with Putin, they agree complicit in his aggression”.

“The blood of the Ukrainian people is running on their hands. They should bow their heads in shame.”

Boris Johnson said: “There can be no safe haven for those who have supported Putin’s diabolical attack on Ukraine.

“We will be ruthless in our pursuit of those who allow the killing of civilians, the destruction of hospitals and the illegal occupation of sovereign allies.”

Shadow Foreign Secretary David Lammy said it was the right decision “but it shouldn’t have taken weeks by the Government”.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has added seven tycoons to the UK sanctions list



He said: “Too few oligarchs linked to Putin’s rogue regime have so far faced sanctions from the British Government. We are lagging far behind our allies in the EU and America.

“It is true that, under Labor pressure, the Government has turned to strengthen sanctions legislation. Ministers must now move faster to further close the sanctions gap.”

Here are the new names added to the sanctions list.

Roman Abramovich

Roman Abramovich is one of the most high-profile Russian tycoons in the UK thanks to his ownership of Chelsea Football Club.

Abramovich, who is worth around £9.4 billion and has a multi-million pound fortune empire in the UK, also has stakes in steel giants Evraz and Norilsk Nickel, the UK government said.

He sold a 73% stake in Russian oil company Sibneft to state gas group Gazprom for £9.87 billion in 2005.

He recently announced plans to sell the flagship football club, which he has owned since 2003, after initially saying he was transferring management to the club’s charity. .

Chelsea’s Russian owner, Roman Abramovich


AFP via Getty Images)

Abramovich has denied having close ties with Putin but the government says he has received financial benefits from the Kremlin, including tax breaks for his companies, buying and selling shares from and to the state with preferential rates, and contacts in the near future to the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

The list shows that he has been punished both on the basis of his personal ties to the Kremlin and preferential contracts over the years, but also on the role of steel company Evraz – the government I believe they are supplying steel to the Russian army

The football club has now been seized by the UK Government but ministers have issued a permit allowing Chelsea to continue playing matches.

Season ticket holders and those who have pre-booked matches will still be able to attend matches, but new tickets cannot be sold and the club shop will be closed.

Abramovich’s UK property will also be frozen and no cleaners will even be allowed in.

But the assets are still just “frozen” – not actually seized by the UK government. Technically, the tycoon’s family – who are not directly targeted by the sanctions – could stay in his home but officials believe the reality would be tough.

Oleg Deripaska

Industrialist Oleg Deripaska, a former business partner of Abramovich, is among those newly added to the sanctions list.

The Russian oligarch has a stake in En + Group, a large energy and foreign exchange company that owns UC Rusal, one of the world’s major aluminum producers.

Deripaska is estimated to be worth £2 billion, with a multi-million pound property portfolio in the UK.

Oleg Deripaska



He made headlines in 2008 when he hosted Labor ambassador Lord Peter Mandelson and then shadow chancellor George Osborne on his yacht in Corfu.

Mr Osborne was accused of trying to solicit donations for the Tory party from the tycoon – which he denies.

The US designated Deripaska in 2018, which means one’s assets are frozen and US citizens are “generally prohibited from dealing with them”.

Igor Sechin

Tycoon Igor Sechin is the CEO of Rosneft, Russia’s state-owned oil company.

The UK government describes him as a “particularly close and influential ally of Putin” and he is seen as Putin’s “number two”.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, accompanied by Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin



He has been sanctioned by the US and EU.

Last week, the French government seized a yacht linked to the tycoon.

Andrey Kostin

Andrey Kostin is the chairman of VTB Bank, Russia’s second largest bank. The bank was appointed by the UK last month.

The UK estimates his net worth at £379 million.

Kostin was described by FCDO as “a close associate of Putin, and has long supported Kremlin goals” through the bank.

Andrey Kostin (Right) at an event in 2016


TASS via Getty Images)

He previously accused the West of waging “economic war” against Russia through sanctions.

He has been sanctioned by the US and EU.

Alexei Miller

The CEO of Russian energy company Gazprom is one of the most important executives supporting the Kremlin.

Miller served under Putin in the 1990s when the President was now deputy mayor in St Petersburg.

UK officials believe he has followed his career path with Putin since the Russian President was Deputy Mayor of St Petersburg in 1990.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) poses next to Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller after giving him the title of “Hero of Labor of the Russian Federation” in February


POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Miller was sanctioned by the US.

Nikolai Tokarev

Nikolai Tokarev is the chairman of the Russian state pipeline company Transneft.

He served with Putin in the KGB in Dresden, East Germany, in the 1980s.

They have remained closely linked ever since.

Tokarev has been sanctioned by the US and EU.

Dmitri Lebedev

Dmitri Lebedev is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Rossiya Bank.

The UK designated Rossiya Bank, widely regarded as the Kremlin’s private bank, on 22 February 2022.

Lebedev was sanctioned by the US in 2016.

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