UK slaps sanctions on 370 more Russians linked to Vladimir Putin

Andrew Woodcock
Political Editor
Tuesday 15 March 2022 16:15
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Kyiv residents inspect damage after attacks hit Ukrainian capital

Vladimir Putin’s prime minister and defence minister and a number of super-wealthy oligarchs were among 370 people added to the UK’s sanctions list on Tuesday.

The fourth round of sanctions against individuals since Mr Putin’s invasion of Ukraine was enabled by legislation rushed through the Commons last night, which allows the UK to match measures imposed by EU and US allies.

The move brings to more than 1,000 the total number of sanctions imposed since the invasion began on 24 February, with 775 relating to individuals and the remainder to banks, institutions, companies and subsidiaries.

Britain has lagged behind US and EU allies in targeting individual oligarchs for their support of the Russian president, because new legislation brought in as a result of Brexit meant that a watertight legal case needed to be established for each one, raising fears that the process could take months to complete.

But last night’s passage of the Economic Crime Act has accelerated the process, allowing the UK to match sanctions imposed by the EU and US, and then develop detailed cases later.

The Foreign Office said that the new list included “more Russian oligarchs and their family members, Putin’s political allies and propagandists”.

Among them are Putin’s prime minister Mikhail Mishustin, defence minister Sergei Shoigu and former president of Russia Dmitry Medvedev, as well as the Russian president’s chief spokesman Dmitry Peskov and Russian foreign affairs ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.

Oligarchs sanctioned included:

- Mikhail Fridman, founder of Alfa Bank, the largest non-state controlled bank in Russia.

- Pyotr Aven, the head of Alfa Bank until March 2022.

- German Khan, one of the original founders of Alfa Group Consortium.

- Alexander Ponomarenko, chairman of the board of Sheremetyevo, the biggest airport in Russia.

- Andrey Melnichenko, the founder of EuroChem Group, one of the world’s leading mineral fertilizer producers.

- Viktor Vekselberg, owner of the Renova Group, a Russian conglomerate with interests in aluminium, oil, energy, and telecoms.

- Maya Bolotova, the daughter of Nikolai Tokarev, president of the Russian pipeline company Transneft.

- Dmitry Pumpyansky, owner and chairman of OAO TMK, a leading global manufacturer and supplier of steel pipes for the oil and gas industry.

- Vadim Moshkovich, chairman of the board of directors of Rusagro Group, the second leading Russian producer of beet sugar.

are on a list which includes super-wealthy individuals with a combined estimated worth of more than £100bn.

A notorious internet “troll farm”, the Internet Research Agency, has also been sanctioned.

Foreign secretary Liz Truss said: “We are going further and faster than ever in hitting those closest to Putin – from major oligarchs, to his prime minister and the propagandists who peddle his lies and disinformation. We are holding them to account for their complicity in Russia’s crimes in Ukraine.

“Working closely with our allies, we will keep increasing the pressure on Putin and cut off funding for the Russian war machine.

Individuals sanctioned today will have their assets in the UK frozen, so that no UK citizen or company can do business with them. They are also banned from travelling to or from the UK.

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