Miley Cyrus hit by US sanctions on Russian-owned concert arena


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The Independent Online

The diplomatic stand-off between the United States and Russia could hit Miley Cyrus like a wrecking ball as her sellout show risks falling foul of US sanctions.

The Helsinki arena in which the chanteuse and serial twerker is set to perform in May is owned by a company controlled by three Russians who appear on the sanctions list released by US authorities following the annexation of Crimea.

Russian oil magnate Gennady Timchenko and millionaire brothers Arkady and Boris Rotenberg, who have close links with President Vladimir Putin, bought the arena last year through their events management company, Arena Events Oy.

The trio were recently hit by economic sanctions preventing them from doing business with American companies.

As a result, US ticket promoter Live Nation Entertainment could now be barred from completing financial transactions with the Russian-owned arena unless it receives special dispensation from the US Treasury Department.

In other words, Miley's concert could be cancelled unless the US Treasury approves the business relation between the American concert booker and the Russian-owned arena.

Tom Stocker, partner at law firm Pinsent Mason, told the BBC the legality of the deal would depend on whether Live Nation owes money to venue. If it doesn't, the concert could go ahead as planned and Miley could twerk her way to Helsinki.

"(The US Treasury) will need to provide a licence to authorise the transaction and will have to take into account that the show forms part of a pre-existing agreement," he said. "But it has quite a wide discretion to grant licences. If this was Europe then a licence would most likely not be granted."

Live Nation said it is reviewing its portfolio and will continue to work to ensure the sanctions are upheld.