Roman Abramovich and six more Russians sanctioned - travel ban and asset freeze explained

Chelsea football club owner Roman Abramovich has been sanctioned over links to Russia's Vladimir Putin as the UK slapped asset freezes on seven oligarchs accused of having the "blood on the Ukrainian people on their hands".

The updated UK sanctions list said Mr Abramovich has had a "close relationship for decades" with Putin, which the football club owner has previously denied.

The Russian businessman was named alongside billionaires Igor Sechin and Oleg Deripaska on the list, which imposes assets freezes, travel bans and a prohibition on transactions with UK individuals and businesses.

These elite individuals have a collective net worth of £15 billion, the Foreign Office said in an official announcement.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said: "The blood of the Ukrainian people is on their hands."

Today's decision brings the total number of Russian oligarchs sanctioned by Britain to 18, with another five already on the list.

Sanctions have also been imposed on Putin, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and a number of Belarusian officials

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."

Boris Johnson said: "There can be no safe havens for those who have supported Putin's vicious assault on Ukraine.

"We will be ruthless in pursuing those who enable the killing of civilians, destruction of hospitals and illegal occupation of sovereign allies."

Shadow Foreign Secretary David Lammy said it was the right decision "but it should not have taken the Government weeks".

He said: "Too few oligarchs linked to Putin's rogue regime have so far faced sanctions from the UK Government. We are lagging far behind allies in the EU and the US.

"It is right that, under pressure from Labour, the Government U-turned to strengthen sanctions legislation. Ministers must now move faster to continue to close the sanctions gap."

Here are the new names added to the sanctions list.

Roman Abramovich is one of the most high-profile Russian oligarchs in the UK thanks to his ownership of Chelsea Football Club.

Abramovich, who is worth an estimated £9.4 billion and has a multi-million pound property empire in the UK, also has stakes in steel giant Evraz and Norilsk Nickel, the UK Government said.

He sold a 73% stake in Russian oil firm Sibneft to state-owned gas titan Gazprom for £9.87 billion in 2005.

He recently announced plans to sell the top-flight football club, which he has owned since 2003, after initially saying he was passing stewardship to the club's charitable foundation.

Abramovich has denied having strong ties with Putin but the Government said he had had received financial benefits from the Kremlin, including tax breaks for his companies, the buying and selling of shares from and to the state at favourable rates, and contacts in the run up to the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

The list shows he has been sanctioned both on the basis of his personal connections to the Kremlin and preferential contracts over the years, but also the role the Evraz steel company plays - the British government believe it is providing steel to the Russian military

The football club has now been seized by the UK Government but ministers have issued a licence authorising Chelsea to continue playing matches.

Season ticket holders and those with games already booked can still attend matches, but no new tickets can be sold and the club's merchandise shop will close.

Abramovich’s UK property will also be frozen with not even cleaners allowed to enter it.

But the asset is still only “frozen” - not actually seized by the UK government. Technically the tycoon’s family - who are not directly targeted with sanctions - could stay in his homes but officials believe it would be practically very difficult.

Roman Abramovich and six more Russians sanctioned - travel ban and asset freeze explained

Industrialist Oleg Deripaska, who is Abramovich's former business partner, was among those newly added to the sanctions list.

The Russian tycoon has stakes in En+ Group, a major extractives and energy company which owns UC Rusal, one of the world’s major aluminium producers.

Deripaska is estimated to be worth £2billion, with a multi-million pound property portfolio in the UK.

He hit the headlines in 2008 when he hosted Labour grandee Lord Peter Mandelson and then-shadow chancellor George Osborne on his yacht in Corfu.

Mr Osborne was accused of trying to solicit a donation for the Tory party from the oligarch - something he denies.

The US designated Deripaska in 2018, which is means a person's assets are blocked and U.S. persons are "generally prohibited from dealing with them".

Tycoon Igor Sechin is the chief executive of Rosneft, the Russian state oil company.

The UK Government described him as a "particularly close and influential ally of Putin" and he is understood to be regarded as Putin's "number two".

He has already been sanctioned by the US and EU.

The French Government seized a yacht linked to the oligarch last week.

Andrey Kostin is the chairman of VTB bank, Russia's second largest bank. The bank was designated by the UK last month.

The UK put his net worth at an estimated £379 million.

Kostin was described by the FCDO as "a close associate of Putin, and has long supported Kremlin objectives" through the bank.

He has previously accused the West of waging "economic war" against Russia through sanctions.

He has already been sanctioned by the US and EU.

The chief executive of Russian energy company Gazprom is one of the most important executives supporting the Kremlin.

Miller served under Putin in the 1990s when the now-President was deputy mayor in St Petersburg.

UK officials believe he has been going along his career trajectory with Putin since the Russian President was was deputy mayor of St Petersburg in 1990s.

Miller has already been sanctioned by the US.

Nikolai Tokarev is president of the Russia state-owned pipeline company Transneft.

He served alongside Putin in the KGB in Dresden, East Germany, in the 1980s.

They have remained closely associated ever since.

Tokarev has been sanctioned by the US and EU.

Dmitri Lebedev is the 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.

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