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UK Government announces sanctions against seven oligarchs

  • Legal Development 10 March 2022 10 March 2022
  • UK & Europe

  • Crisis-Ukraine-Russia

On 10 March 2022, the UK Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss, announced sanctions against seven Russian Oligarchs, including Chelsea Football Club owner, Roman Abramovich. Under the terms of the sanctions, the oligarchs will have their assets in the UK frozen, be banned from travelling to the UK and no UK citizen or company may do business with them.

Discussing the sanctions, 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.”

Those subject to the sanctions are:

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

The full UK sanctions list is available here: The UK Sanctions List - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Given the sanctions’ serious implications for Chelsea football club, its fans, and football in general, the U.K. Government has issued a licence, allowing Chelsea to continue playing matches and participating in other football related activity. The licence (General Licence INT/2022/1327076) permits certain explicitly named actions such as paying club staff and players, and incurring (subject to financial caps) reasonable costs associated with hosting and travelling to fixtures.

The permissions set out in the licence are subject to an obligation to keep “accurate, complete and readable records, on paper or electronically, of any activity purporting to have been permitted under [the] licence with a value exceeding £5,000 for a minimum of 6 years”.

Going forwards, the licence “will be kept under constant review”.  A copy is available here: 10032022_OFSI_General_Licence_Football_Matches_.pdf (publishing.service.gov.uk)

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