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The beat goes on… OFSI sanctions 7 more Russian oligarchs, grants a license to Chelsea FC

UK regulators added the following persons:

1. ABRAMOVICH, Roman Arkadyevich
Name (non-Latin script): Роман Аркадьевич АБРАМОВИЧ
DOB: 24/10/1966. POB: Saratov, Russia a.k.a: ABRAMOVICH, Roman Nationality: (1) Russia (2) Israel (3) Portugal Passport Number: (1) CB982788 (2) 24132276 Passport Details: (1) Portugal (2) Israel Position: (1) Businessman – Owner of Chelsea Football Club (2) Stakeholder in Evraz PLC and Norilsk Nickel Other Information: (UK Sanctions List Ref): RUS0270 (UK Statement of Reasons): Roman Arkadyevich ABRAMOVICH (hereafter ABRAMOVICH) is a prominent Russian businessman and pro-Kremlin oligarch. ABRAMOVICH is associated with a person who is or has been involved in destabilising Ukraine and undermining and threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine, namely Vladimir Putin, with whom ABRAMOVICH has had a close relationship for decades. This association has included obtaining a financial benefit or other material benefit from Putin and the Government of Russia. This includes tax breaks received by companies linked to ABRAMOVICH, buying and selling shares from and to the state at favourable rates, and the contracts received in the run up to the FIFA 2018 World Cup. Therefore, ABRAMOVICH has received preferential treatment and concessions from Putin and the Government of Russia. ABRAMOVICH is also associated with a person who is or has been involved in obtaining a benefit from or supporting the Government of Russia, namely: former First Deputy Prime Minister, and current Chairman of the Management Board for VEB, Igor Shuvalov; former General Director of Gazprom Investment Holdings, Alisher Usmanov, both of whom were sanctioned on 3 March 2022 for being involved persons in obtaining a benefit from or supporting the Russian government through carrying on business in a sector of strategic significance to the Russian government. ABRAMOVICH is associated with these individuals through close business relationships and mutual assistance, including ABRAMOVICH financing Shuvalov's trust and the subsequent loans from Shuvalov to enable Usmanov's purchase of a British mill. Furthermore, ABRAMOVICH is or has been involved in destabilising Ukraine and undermining and threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine, via Evraz PLC, a steel manufacturing and mining company in which ABRAMOVICH has a significant shareholding and over which ABRAMOVICH exercises effective control. Evraz PLC is or has been involved in providing financial services, or making available funds, economic resources, goods or technology that could contribute to destabilising Ukraine or undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty or independence of Ukraine – which includes potentially supplying steel to the Russian military which may have been used in the production of tanks. ABRAMOVICH exercises effective control of Evraz PLC given his significant shareholding and the shareholdings of his close associates who it is reasonable to expect ABRAMOVICH could direct through his close ties with Abramov and Shvidler, as well as his power to nominate directors of the board. ABRAMOVICH is or has been involved in obtaining a benefit from or supporting the Government of Russia, as ABRAMOVICH and Evraz PLC carry on business in sectors of strategic significance to the Government of Russia – namely the construction, defence and extractive sectors. (Gender):Male Listed on: 10/03/2022 UK Sanctions List Date Designated: 10/03/2022 Last Updated: 10/03/2022 Group ID: 14212.

2. SECHIN, Igor Ivanovich
Name (non-Latin script): Игорь Иванович СЕЧИН
DOB: 07/09/1960. POB: Leningrad / St. Petersburg, Russia a.k.a: SECHIN, Igor Nationality: Russia Position: (1) Chief Executive Officer (2) Chairman of the Management Board (3) Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors, Rosneft Other Information: (UK Sanctions List Ref):RUS0273 (UK Statement of Reasons):Igor Ivanovich SECHIN (hereafter referred to as SECHIN) is a prominent Russian businessman with close personal ties to Vladimir Putin. SECHIN is Chief Executive Officer, Chairman of the Management Board and Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors at Rosneft. Rosneft is the leading company in the Russian oil sector and the largest publicly owned oil and gas corporation in the world. Its main shareholder is ROSNEFTEGAZ JSC, which is 100% owned by the Government of Russia. It is therefore a Government of Russia- affiliated entity. Therefore, as a result of his positions above, SECHIN is involved in obtaining a benefit from and supporting the Government of Russia as he holds the position of a director in a Government of Russia-affiliated entity, and one that carries on business in a sector of strategic significance to the Government of Russia. (Gender):Male Listed on: 10/03/2022 UK Sanctions List Date Designated: 10/03/2022 Last Updated: 10/03/2022 Group ID: 14213.

3. DERIPASKA, Oleg Vladimirovich
Name (non-Latin script): Олег Владимирович ДЕРИПАСКА
Title: Mr DOB: 02/01/1968. POB: Dzerzhinsk, Russia a.k.a: DERIPASKA, Oleg Nationality: Russia Position: Shareholder at EN+ GROUP Other Information: (UK Sanctions List Ref): RUS0269 (UK Statement of Reasons): Oleg Vladimirovich DERIPASKA, hereafter DERIPASKA, is a prominent Russian businessman and pro- Kremlin oligarch. DERIPASKA is closely associated with the Government of Russia and Vladimir Putin. Therefore, DERIPASKA is associated with persons who are involved in destabilising and threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine. DERIPASKA is or has been involved in obtaining benefit from or supporting the Government of Russia, by carrying on business in, and owning or controlling and working as a director or equivalent in businesses in the Russian extractives and energy sectors, sectors of strategic significance to the Government of Russia. (Gender): Male Listed on: 10/03/2022 UK Sanctions List Date Designated: 10/03/2022 Last Updated: 10/03/2022 Group ID: 14214.

4. LEBEDEV, Dmitri Alekseevich
Name (non-Latin script): Дмитрий Алексеевич ЛЕБЕДЕВ
DOB: 03/03/1968. POB: Leningrad/St Petersburg, Russia a.k.a: (1) LEBEDEV, Dmitri (2) LEBEDEV, Dmitri, Alekseyevich Nationality: Russia Address: Moscow, Russia. Position: Chairman of Board of Directors, Bank Rossiya Other Information: (UK Sanctions List Ref):RUS0272 (UK Statement of Reasons):DMITRI ALEKSEEVICH LEBEDEV, hereafter LEBEDEV, is the Chairman of the Board of Directors at Bank Rossiya and Managing Director and Co-Chairman of the Board of Management of ABR Management, and a member of Board of Directors of SOGAZ JSC, (both of whom are affiliates of Bank Rossiya), one of Russia's largest insurers. As Chairman of the Board of Directors at Bank Rossiya and a Member of the Board of Directors at SOGAZ, he is involved in carrying on business in a sector (financial services) of strategic significance to the Russian Government. Bank Rossiya is a Russian bank privately owned by elite Russian billionaires with direct links to Vladimir Putin. Since the annexation of Crimea, Bank Rossiya has opened branches across Crimea and Sevastopol, and provided travel cards for the public to travel across the peninsula thereby supporting the integration of Crimea and Sevastopol into the Russian Federation through the financial system. Bank Rossiya has also contributed to the provision of insurance and investment throughout Crimea and Sevastopol and services to support military capability and major transport links. SOGAZ JSC, the largest insurer in the Russian corporate sector, insured the construction of the railway infrastructure connecting the bridge over the Kerch Strait and the Port of Taman and reinsured the construction of the bridge over the Kerch Strait between the Russian mainland and the Crimean peninsula. In doing so, SOGAZ supported the illegally annexed Crimean peninsula into the Russian Federation which in turn further undermined the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine. LEBEDEV therefore is involved in carrying on business in a sector of strategic significance to the Russian Government, has obtained a benefit from or is supporting the Russian Government by working as a director or equivalent of a company which carries on business in sectors of strategic significance (financial services) to the Government of Russia, and has supported activities which destabilise Ukraine and undermine and threaten its sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity. (Gender):Male Listed on: 10/03/2022 UK Sanctions List Date Designated: 10/03/2022 Last Updated: 10/03/2022 Group ID: 14215.

5. MILLER, Alexei Borisovich
Name (non-Latin script): Алексей Борисович МИЛЛЕР
DOB: 31/01/1962. POB: Leningrad/St Petersburg, Russia a.k.a: (1) MILLER, Alexei (2) MILLER, Alexey Nationality: Russia Address: Moscow, Russia. Position: (1) Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors (2) Chairman of the Management Committee of GAZPROM Other Information: (UK Sanctions List Ref): RUS0268 (UK Statement of Reasons): ALEXEI BORISOVICH MILLER, hereafter MILLER, is a prominent Russian businessman with close personal ties to Vladimir Putin. In 2001, Putin appointed MILLER to the position of CEO of GAZPROM, Russia's largest energy producer, and was re-appointed for a further 5-year term in 2021. As CEO of GAZPROM, whose majority shareholder is the Government of Russia, MILLER is involved in carrying on business in a sector (energy) of strategic significance to the Russian Government. GAZPROM has also provided deliveries of liquefied petroleum gas to Crimea which was annexed illegally by Russia in 2014. MILLER therefore is involved in carrying on a business in a sector of strategic significance to the Government of Russia, has obtained a financial benefit from the Government of Russia, and has supported activities which undermine and/or threaten the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine. (Gender): Male Listed on: 10/03/2022 UK Sanctions List Date Designated: 10/03/2022 Last Updated: 10/03/2022 Group ID: 14216.

6. KOSTIN, Andrei Leonidovich
Name (non-Latin script): Андрей Леонидович КОСТИН
Title: Mr DOB: 21/09/1956. POB: Moscow, Russia a.k.a: (1) KOSTIN, Andrei (2) KOSTIN, Andrey (3) KOSTIN, Andrey, Leonidovich Nationality: Russia Position: (1) President of VTB Bank (PJSC) (2) Chairman of VTB Bank (PJSC) Management Board (3) Member of the Supervisory Council of VTB Bank (PJSC) (4) Chairman of the Strategy and Corporate Governance Committee Other Information: (UK Sanctions List Ref):RUS0267 (UK Statement of Reasons):Andrei Leonidovich KOSTIN (hereafter KOSTIN) is a prominent Russian businessman and banker, with close links to Vladimir Putin. KOSTIN holds a role equivalent to executive director as the President of VTB Bank (PJSC) and Chairman of VTB Bank (PJSC) Management Board. VTB Bank (PJSC) is owned or controlled directly or indirectly by the Government of Russia because the Russian Federal Agency for State Property Management owns 60.9% of ordinary shares within it; VTB Bank is therefore a Government of Russia-affiliated entity. KOSTIN therefore is or has been involved in supporting the Government of Russia through his role working as a director (whether executive or non-executive), trustee, or equivalent as President of VTB Bank (PJSC) and Chairman of VTB Bank (PJSC) Management Board. VTB Bank (PJSC) is a Government of Russia-affiliated entity, and/or is an entity that is carrying on business in the Russian financial services sector, a sector of strategic significance to the Government of Russia. (Gender):Male Listed on: 10/03/2022 UK Sanctions List Date Designated: 10/03/2022 Last Updated: 10/03/2022 Group ID: 14217.

7. TOKAREV, Nikolai Petrovich
Name (non-Latin script): Николай Петрович ТОКАРЕВ
DOB: 20/12/1950. POB: Karaganda, Kazakhstan a.k.a: (1) TOKAREV, Nikolai (2) TOKAREV, Nikolay Nationality: Russia Position: (1) Chairman of the Management (2) President of Transneft Other Information: (UK Sanctions List Ref): RUS0271 (UK Statement of Reasons): Nikolai TOKAREV, hereafter TOKAREV, is a prominent Russian businessman with significant interests in the extractives and energy industries, as well as a longstanding associate of Vladimir Putin. He is currently President of Transneft – a state enterprise that provides services for oil and oil products transportation within Russia and beyond. Transneft is a Government of Russia-affiliated entity which carries on business in sectors of strategic significance to the Government of Russia. TOKAREV is working as a director (whether executive or non-executive), trustee, or equivalent of Transneft, and is therefore a person who is or has been involved in obtaining a benefit from or supporting the Government of Russia. (Gender):Male Listed on: 10/03/2022 UK Sanctions List Date Designated: 10/03/2022 Last Updated: 10/03/2022 Group ID: 14218.

to their Russia sanctions program. However, since Abramovich owns the Chelsea Football Club, they granted the club a license to keep operating:

Press release

Chelsea FC granted licence to continue operating

Chelsea Football Club has been granted a licence by the government to continue operating following the sanctioning of owner Roman Abramovich. From:Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sportand The Rt Hon Nadine Dorries MPPublished10 March 2022

  • Chelsea FC owner’s assets frozen as part of tough action against Putin regime
  • Under a new licence the club can continue to operate to fulfil its fixtures
  • Government wants to protect football pyramid, fans and other clubs

The licence will allow the club to run a number of football-related activities meaning its fixtures to be fulfilled, its staff and the running costs of its ground can be paid, and so existing ticket holders for Chelsea games can attend matches.

The licence is a safety net to protect the sport, the Premier League, the wider football pyramid down to the grassroots game, loyal fans and other clubs. It will deprive Mr Abramovich of benefiting from his ownership of the club and mean he cannot circumvent UK sanctions.

The Government will keep the licence under constant review and it will work closely with the relevant football authorities and the club to protect it from irreparable damage that would prevent it from competing.

Ambramovich had assets frozen this morning as part of a raft of further sanctions against individuals linked to the Russian regime. Freezing his assets means he cannot benefit from his ownership and make any money from Chelsea.

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said:

Putin’s attack on Ukraine continues and we are witnessing new levels of evil by the hour. We are now turning the screw on influential oligarchs enabling his regime.

The important measures announced today will clearly have a direct impact on Chelsea FC and its fans but we are working hard to make sure the club and the national game are not unnecessarily harmed.

We have granted the club a licence so it can fulfil its fixtures, pay its staff and existing ticket holders can attend matches. We know football clubs are cultural assets and we are committed to protecting them.

The Treasury, through the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI), issued the general licence which sets out what activities are permitted to continue. It has been introduced to permit the club to continue necessary operations and can be modified if necessary. As with other sanctions, the licence was not discussed with those impacted before a designation was made.

OFSI is responsible for enforcing the conditions of the licence and it is a criminal offence to fail to comply with the requirements and prohibitions set out.

As well as allowing costs for players and staff to travel to away fixtures, the licence permits the club to host scheduled fixtures at its home stadium alongside other required activity such as catering and security, for the club and training ground to be maintained, and for rates and taxes to be paid.

The following conditions are set out under the licence:

Sale of the club

While the current licence does not permit the sale of the club at this time, the Government is open to a sale of the club and would consider an application for a new licence to allow for a sale. Proceeds from any sale could not go to the sanctioned individual while he is subject to sanctions.

Transfers

Under the current licence the transfer or loan of players in and out of the club is not permitted. This applies to all of Chelsea’s teams. Transfers are also not possible at this time in the season anyway because the transfer window is closed.

Matchday tickets

Fans who have already purchased a ticket for a future fixture or have a club season ticket can use their existing tickets or resell them within the boundaries of the law. Under the current licence no new or additional tickets can be purchased. This includes tickets for home matches and tickets bought from the club for away matches.

Matchday catering

The licence permits home ground ‘hosting transactions’ including stewarding, catering and security but none of the proceeds can go to the designated individual.

Merchandise

The licence does not allow the club to undertake any new revenue raising activity including selling merchandise. The club’s physical and online store cannot operate. This restriction does not apply to the sale of existing stock held by third parties such as high street sports retailers.

Champions League and FA Cup

The purpose of the licence is to permit the club to continue with the necessary activity to ensure that it is able to fulfil its upcoming fixtures. As such the licence allows footballing activity and travel to continue which would permit the club to play European fixtures and the FA Cup.

Notes to editors

  • Asset freeze: an asset freeze prevents any UK citizen, or any business in the UK, from dealing with any funds or economic resources which are owned, held or controlled by the designated person and which are held in the UK. It will also prevent funds or economic resources being provided to or for the benefit of the designated person.
  • The government welcomed the recommendations of the Fan-led Review and will be providing its full response as soon as possible. As the Culture Secretary set out last week, the response will include a consideration of a revised Owners’ and Directors’ Test.

And the following press release was issued by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss, and FCDO:

Press release

Abramovich and Deripaska among 7 oligarchs targeted in estimated £15 billion sanction hit

The UK has announced sanctions against 7 oligarchs including Roman Abramovich and Oleg Deripaska.From:Foreign, Commonwealth & Development OfficePrime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing StreetThe Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss MP, and The Rt Hon Boris Johnson MPPublished10 March 2022

Seven oligarchs targeted in £15 billion sanction hit (Oligarch Taskforce)
  • owner of Chelsea FC sees his assets frozen, a prohibition on transactions with UK individuals and businesses, a travel ban and transport sanctions imposed
  • Abramovich’s one-time business partner, leading industrialist Oleg Deripaska, also sanctioned with the same measures
  • Putin’s right-hand man Igor Sechin and 4 more of Putin’s inner circle targeted with asset freeze and travel ban
  • Economic Crime Bill coming into force next week will allow UK Government to move further and faster than ever on sanctions

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has today (Thursday 10 March) announced a full asset freeze and travel ban on seven of Russia’s wealthiest and most influential oligarchs, whose business empires, wealth and connections are closely associated with the Kremlin.

As part of the UK’s leading efforts to isolate Putin and those around him, these oligarchs – who have a collective net worth of around £15 billion – will have their assets in the UK frozen, they are banned from travelling here and no UK citizen or company may do business with them.

Those newly-sanctioned by the UK include Roman Abramovich, owner of Chelsea Football Club, worth more than £9 billion; leading industrialist Oleg Deripaska worth £2 billion, and Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin. A further group of Russia-based oligarchs close to Putin have also been placed under sanction. Those sanctioned today are:

  • Roman Abramovich owner of Chelsea FC and has stakes in steel giant Evraz and Norilsk Nickel
  • Oleg Deripaska has stakes in En+ Group
  • Igor Sechin is the Chief Executive of Rosneft
  • Andrey Kostin is Chairman of VTB bank
  • Alexei Miller is CEO of energy company Gazprom
  • Nikolai Tokarev is president of the Russia state-owned pipeline company Transneft
  • Dmitri Lebedev is Chairman of the Board of Directors of Bank Rossiya

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

There can be no safe havens for those who have supported Putin’s vicious assault on 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 enable the killing of civilians, destruction of hospitals and illegal occupation of sovereign allies.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said:

Today’s sanctions show once again that oligarchs and kleptocrats have no place in our economy or society. With their close links to Putin they are complicit in his aggression.

The blood of the Ukrainian people is on their hands. They should hang their heads in shame.

Our support for Ukraine will not waver. We will not stop in this mission to ramp up the pressure on the Putin regime and choke off funds to his brutal war machine.

These sanctions are the latest step in the UK’s response to Putin’s illegal and unprovoked invasion, designed to ensure he fails in Ukraine by crippling Russia’s economy supporting his war machine. The UK has been at the forefront of this effort, shutting out large proportions of whole sectors of the Russian economy, such as its defence industry, its financial institutions and its transport sector. The UK has already sanctioned more than 200 of Russia’s most significant and high-value individuals, entities and subsidiaries since the invasion, with over 500 of them now covered by the UK’s sanctions list.

The Economic Crime Bill coming into force next week will also significantly simplify the process of imposing sanctions, allow the UK to more easily sanction individuals, stop oligarchs threatening the UK with multi-million pound lawsuits for damages at the taxpayer’s expense and also allow the UK to mirror allies’ designations. The UK will keep going further, faster and deeper to punish Putin’s regime for this callous war.

The UK will continue to lead global efforts to provide Ukraine with economic, diplomatic, humanitarian and defensive support.

Given the significant impact that today’s sanctions would have on Chelsea football club and the potential knock on effects of this, the Government has this morning published a licence which authorises a number of football-related activities to continue at Chelsea. This includes permissions for the club to continue playing matches and other football related activity which will in turn protect the Premier League, the wider football pyramid, loyal fans and other clubs. This licence will only allow certain explicitly named actions to ensure the designated individual is not able to circumvent UK sanctions. The licence will be kept under constant review and we will work closely with the football authorities.

Background

Asset freeze

An asset freeze prevents any UK citizen, or any business in the UK, from dealing with any funds or economic resources which are owned, held or controlled by the designated person and which are held in the UK. It will also prevent funds or economic resources being provided to or for the benefit of the designated person.

Travel ban

A travel ban means that the designated person must be refused leave to enter or to remain in the United Kingdom, providing the individual to be an excluded person under section 8B of the Immigration Act 1971.

Transport sanctions

Recently introduced powers make it a criminal offence for any Russian aircraft to fly or land in the UK, and give the Government powers to remove aircraft belonging to designated Russian individuals and entities from the UK aircraft register, even if the sanctioned individual is not on board. Russian ships are also banned from UK ports.

Sanctioned oligarchs

  1. Roman Abramovich has stakes in steel giant Evraz, Norilsk Nickel and owns Chelsea FC. He sold a 73% stake in Russian oil firm Sibneft to state-owned gas titan Gazprom for £9.87 billion in 2005. His net worth is an estimated £9.4 billion. He is one of the few oligarchs from the 1990s to maintain prominence under Putin. None of our allies have yet sanctioned Abramovich.
  2. Oleg Deripaska has stakes in En+ Group, a major extractives and energy company which owns UC Rusal, one of the world’s major aluminium producers. He has a multi-million pound property portfolio in the UK. His net worth is an estimated £2 billion. The US designated Deripaska in 2018.
  3. Igor Sechin is the Chief Executive of Rosneft, a Russian state oil company and particularly close and influential ally of Putin. Sechin has been sanctioned by the US and EU.
  4. Andrey Kostin is Chairman of VTB bank, the second largest bank in Russia. VTB Bank was designated by the UK on 24 February 2022. Kostin is a close associate of Putin, and has long supported Kremlin objectives through VTB Bank. His net worth is an estimated £379 million. Kostin has been sanctioned by the US and EU.
  5. Alexei Miller is CEO of energy company Gazprom, making him one of the most important executives supporting the Russian Government. Miller served under Putin in the 1990s when Putin was deputy mayor in St Petersburg. Miller has been sanctioned by the US.
  6. Nikolai Tokarev is president of the Russia state-owned pipeline company Transneft. He first met Putin, when both served as KGB officers in Dresden in East Germany in the 1980s. They have remained closely associated ever since. Tokarev has been sanctioned by the US and EU.
  7. Dmitri Lebedev is Chairman of the Board of Directors of Bank Rossiya. The UK designated Bank Rossiya, widely considered to be the Kremlin’s private bank, on 22 February 2022. Lebedev was sanctioned by the US in 2016.

*Net worth calculated by Forbes.

Media enquiries

Email newsdesk@fcdo.gov.uk

Telephone 020 7008 3100

Contact the FCDO Communication Team via email (monitored 24 hours a day) in the first instance, and we will respond as soon as possible.

Links:

OFSI Notice

Chelsea FC license press release

FCDO Press Release

Categories: FCDO updates Foreign Secretary statements OFSI Updates Russia sanctions Sanctions Lists

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