New British sanctions on Russian oligarchs, inclusive

Roman Abramovici. Photo source: Associated Press / Brand.

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The owner of the English football club Chelsea, Roman Abramovich, entered the list of sanctions imposed by the British government on Thursday, as part of London’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Abramovich is one of seven Russian oligarchs on the new sanctions list, which includes asset freezes and travel bans, the BBC reports.

The list also includes billionaires Igor Secin – president of Rosneft and one of Vladimir Putin’s closest confidants – and Oleg Deripaska, one of the first Russian oligarchs to openly oppose Putin’s war, despite the notorious relationship. and very close to it.

Alexei Miller – the head of Gazprom, Nikolai Tokarev – the president of Transneft (the operator of the natural gas and oil transmission system) and Dmitri Lebedev – the president of Rossiya Bank are also on the list of those sanctioned.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that “there can be no safe havens” for those who support the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“Today’s sanctions are the latest step in the UK’s unwavering support for the Ukrainian people. We will be ruthless in pursuing those who allow the killing of civilians, the destruction of hospitals and the illegal occupation of a sovereign state, “Johnson said.

The decision of the Government of London follows the pressure from the public opinion to sanction Abramovich. Earlier this month, in anticipation of the decision, the Russian oligarch announced that he had taken the “difficult decision” to sell Chelsea FC, after announcing on February 26 that he was resigning from the leadership of the London club.

What effect do the sanctions have on the London club?

One thing is clear: the current Champions League owner, Chelsea FC, has been confiscated from Roman Abramovici’s property as part of the freezing of his assets, and the sale of the club is now suspended.

The government has announced that it will issue a special license, which will allow it to carry out ongoing programs, pay staff and allow subscribers and match ticket holders to attend events.

On the other hand, from now on, the club can no longer sell tickets for the matches that Chelsea plays in its own stadium, and the club store will be closed.

Secretary of State for Culture Nadine Dorries tried to reassure the club’s supporters, assuring them that the team would not suffer “unnecessary damage”. In a Twitter post, Dorries said that London’s priority is for the people who allowed Putin to act in the way that makes him accountable for everything.

“I know this will bring some uncertainty, but the government will work with the league (Premier League, nn) ​​and clubs to keep football going, while ensuring that sanctions will hit those target, ”she wrote.

How did London justify Abramovich’s sanction?

The 55-year-old Russian billionaire is rumored to have close ties to President Vladimir Putin, which he has recently denied.

The British government claims that Abramovich, who has an estimated net worth of 9.4 billion pounds, is “one of the few oligarchs of the 1990s who has remained in the forefront and under Putin.”

Abramovich holds shares in steel giant Evraz, the world’s largest nickel producer, Norilsk Nickel, and in 2005 sold a 73% stake in Russian oil company Sibneft to state-owned giant Gazprom for £ 9.87 billion.