Boris Johnson’s government has finally acted this Thursday against the best-known Russian oligarch in the United Kingdom: Roman Abramóvich, the owner of the Chelsea football club, will not be able to travel to the United Kingdom or carry out commercial or financial transactions with British individuals or entities. All his assets are frozen, which means immediately paralyzing the possible sale of the financial institution, announced last week by Abramovich himself, as well as possible signings. Chelsea, as the Government has clarified, will obtain a license to continue with its “activities related to sports competition”, including the Premier League match that was due to play this Thursday against Norwich.
Together with Abramóvich, the United Kingdom has ordered a battery of immediate economic sanctions against six other Russian oligarchs: Oleg Deripaska, the owner of the group with energy and mining interests EN +; Igor Sechin, a man of extreme confidence to Vladimir Putin, a former member of the KGB, the right arm of the Russian president in the Kremlin and president of the Russian oil company Rosneft; Andrei Korstin, president of the VTB bank; Alexei Miller, CEO of the public company Gazprom; Nikolai Tokarev, president of the public pipeline company Transneft; and Dimitri Lebedev, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Bank Rossiya. Between all of them, it is estimated that they have assets and assets worth almost 18,000 million euros.
In the case of Abramóvich, whose sanctions had been insistently demanded during the last two weeks by the Labor opposition, several conservative deputies and transparency and anti-corruption organizations, he owns a fifteen-bedroom mansion in the exclusive London street of Kensington Palace Gardens, valued at more than 135 million euros and a three-storey penthouse in the Chelsea Waterfront in the capital whose cost is estimated at almost 20 million euros. The oligarch had precipitated in recent days his intention to sell all the properties. He has stakes in the steel giant Evraz, and sold 73% of his shares in the oil company Sibneft to the gas company Gazprom for 11.7 billion euros in 2005. According to the British government, his total assets amount to 11.2 billion euros. “He is one of the few oligarchs that emerged during the 1990s to maintain influence over Putin, and none of our allies had yet moved against him,” Downing Street said in a public statement. “There can be no safe havens for all those who have backed Putin’s ruthless attack on Ukraine,” Johnson said. “We will show no mercy against those who allow the murder of civilians, the destruction of hospitals and the illegal occupation of our sovereign allies,” he added.
He knows in depth all the sides of the coin.