Meet the oligarchs govt has targeted  


Promsvyazbank was targeted in the first round of sanctions announced by Johnson on Tuesday and is critical to Russia’s defence sector…reports Asian Lite News

Boris Johnson has announced sanctions against a further five Russian oligarchs as the UK takes action against Vladimir Putin’s “cronies” in response to the invasion of Ukraine.

The individuals all have close links to the Kremlin and their assets in this country will be frozen – with anyone in Britain banned from having any dealings with them – and they face a UK travel ban, Johnson said.

Denis Bortnikov

Bortnikov is the deputy president of the Russian state-owned VTB bank. He also sits on the Compensations Committee of the bank’s Board of Directors.

Bortnikov is believed to have largely been sanctioned because of the influence of his father.

His father, Aleksandr Bortnikov, has been the director of Russia’s intelligence service the Federal Security Service (FSB) since 2008.

The FSB was blamed for the poisoning of political activist Alexei Navalny in August 2020 with a banned chemical agent from the Novichok group.

Given his long Kremlin service, Bortnikov senior is often considered one of President Putin’s most loyal aides and is a key figure in his inner circle.

Bortnikov senior and President Putin both joined what was the KGB in St Petersburg in 1975. President Putin left as a lieutenant colonel in 1991 to pursue politics, but Bortnikov remained inside and rose up the ranks. Bortnikov senior was first sanctioned by the US in March 2021.

Kirill Shamalov

Russia’s youngest billionaire, Shamalov is the son of Rossiya Bank shareholder Nikolai Shamalov, a long-term friend of Putin. Rossiya is one of the Russian banks that have been sanctioned by Johnson.

Shamalov was also previously married to Putin’s daughter, Katerina Tikhonova. They are reported to have separated in 2018.

After becoming vice president of Russian petrochemical company Sibur at the age of 26, he went on to buy a stake in the firm from Gennady Timchenko, a long-term friend of President Putin who was the target of US sanctions.

He later sold most of his stake.

Shamalov was also previously an adviser to the Russian government. The US imposed sanctions on him in 2018 alongside 23 other Russian nationals.

Pyotr (Petr) Fradkov

The chairman and CEO of Promsvyazbank. Since 2018, Fradkov has worked to transform Promsvyabank into a bank that serves the defence industry and supports state defence contracts.

In his role, he has held work meetings with Vladimir Putin and participated in roundtable discussions in international forums in which he forecasts the bank’s long-term strategic plans for supporting the Russian defence industry.

Promsvyazbank was targeted in the first round of sanctions announced by Johnson on Tuesday and is critical to Russia’s defence sector.

Promsvyazbank oversees 70% of state contracts by the Russian Defence Ministry.

In February this year, US President Joe Biden signed an executive order sanctioning Fradkov for operating or having operated in the defence and related material and financial services sectors of the Russian Federation economy.

He is also the son of the former head of the Russian Foreign Intelligence (FSB).

Yury Slyusar

General director of United Aircraft Corporation, one of the major defence organisations which is also being hit with an asset freeze.

The United Aircraft Corporation was established in 2006 to consolidate Russia’s main assets in aircraft design and production.

With a majority stake belonging to the Russian government, it consolidates Russian private and state-owned aircraft manufacturing companies and assets engaged in the manufacture, design and sale of military, civilian, transport, and unmanned aircraft.

Slyusar told reporters last July that a new Russian warplane under manufacture by his firm was expected to take to the skies in 2023 with a first batch due to be produced in 2026.

He added that Russia planned to produce 300 of the aircraft over 15 years once serial production begins.

Slyusar has previously held roles as assistant to the minister of industry and trade of the Russian Federation, director of the aviation-industry department at the Russian Federation and deputy minister of industry and trade.

Elena Aleksandrovna Georgieva

CEO of Novikombank, which bankrolls Rostec, Russia’s biggest defence company. It is said to employ more than two million people and exports more than £10bn of arms a year.

Prior to this, she was director of Treasury at the Rostec group.

Gennady Timchenko

Timchenko is a billionaire ally of Putin and one of the most powerful people in Russia. According to Forbes, the 69-year-old is worth $23.5bn (£17.3bn) and has stakes in various Russian businesses, including gas company Novatek and petrochemical producer Sibur Holding.

He owns the private investment group Volga, which specialises in investments in energy, transport and infrastructure assets.

He is also chairman of the Russian national hockey league and president of the SKA Saint-Petersburg Hockey Club.

Timchenko and Putin have reportedly been friends since at least the early 1990s when the businessman was a St Petersburg oil trader and the now-Russian president was a rising politician.

Timchenko went on to co-found Gunvor, a Swiss-based trading house that exports billions of dollars worth of Russian oil.

He is a major shareholder in Rossiya, a Russian bank that have been sanctioned by Johnson.

Rossiya is stakeholder in National Media Group which supported the destabilisation of Ukraine after Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea, the UK government says.

It adds that Timchenko has been involved in action that “undermines or threatens the territorial integrity, sovereignty or independence of Ukraine”.

The US previously announced sanctions against Timchenko in 2014.

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