The United Kingdom (UK) has frozen the assets of Roman Abramovich, Chelsea’s owner, and six other Russian oligarchs.
The sanction was announced on Thursday after the billionaires were added to the country’s sanctions list in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The other targeted oligarchs are Oleg Deripaska who has stakes in En+ Group; Igor Sechin, chief executive officer of Rosneft; Andrey Kostin, chairman of VTB bank; Alexei Miller, CEO of Gazprom; Nikolai Tokarev, president of Transneft; and Dmitri Lebedev, chairman of the board of directors of Bank Rossiya.
Boris Johnson, UK prime minister, said there will be “no safe havens for those who have supported Putin’s vicious assault on Ukraine”.
He added that the sanctions further demonstrates “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,” he said.
Liz Truss, UK foreign secretary, said oligarchs and kleptocrats “have no place” in the country’s economy or society.
“With their close links to Putin they are complicit in his aggression,” Truss said.
“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.”
WHAT HAPPENS TO CHELSEA?
The latest penalty comes a few days after Abramovich was forced to put Chelsea FC up for sale as pressure mounted on him over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The 55-year-old had also been forced to hand over the stewardship and care of the club to trustees of its foundation.
While announcing the sanctions, the UK government acknowledged that they would have severe effects on the London-based football club.
It however said the club will be allowed to carry out a number of football-related activities.
“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,” the statement reads.
“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.”