UK sanctions ex-Russian deputy PM, billionaire

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The UK has been targeting Russian oligarchs since Moscow’s invasion, adding 13 to its list, taking the total to 15…reports Asian Lite News

The government said Thursday it was imposing sanctions on billionaire businessman Alisher Usmanov and former deputy prime minister Igor Shuvalov as part of punitive measures over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

The pair, who are worth a combined $19 billion (£14 bn) and have “significant interests in the UK and close links to the Kremlin”, are “sanctioned with immediate effect”, the Foreign Office said.

They face a full asset freeze and a travel ban, with Foreign Secretary Liz Truss saying that the sanctions send a “clear message that we will hit oligarchs and individuals closely associated with the Putin regime”.

The UK has been targeting Russian oligarchs since Moscow’s invasion, adding 13 to its list, taking the total to 15.

Usmanov made number 6 in the Sunday Times rich list last year, with a reported fortune of $13.406 billion. He owns a mansion in London worth an estimated £48 million and a 16th-century country estate southwest of the capital.

He has a keen interest in sports and his holding company owned a minority stake in Arsenal football club until 2018 and sponsors Everton’s training ground, with an initial five-year deal announced in 2017, which was suspended Wednesday. The deal also included the rights to name Everton’s new stadium.

Shuvalov headed the government administration under President Vladimir Putin from 2000. He served as first deputy prime minister from 2008 to 2018 under Putin and Dmitry Medvedev, after which he was appointed chairman of state bank VEB.

The anti-corruption foundation of opposition leader Alexei Navalny in 2016 accused Shuvalov’s wife of using a private plane to fly her corgis to dog shows.

The UK government said that Shuvalov owns two luxury apartments in London worth an estimated £11 million.

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