By Claire Gordon • 02 February 2022 • 18:41
Photo by Christopher Bill on Unsplash
Some of Russia’s richest businessmen may have their British assets frozen if Russia crosses the border into Ukraine. Russia currently has more than 100,000 troops amassed at the border with the former Soviet state and the British Government, along with the US and NATO allies have threatened the Kremlin with sanctions if they continue with the Ukrainian invasion.
Boris Johnson said he had prepared a package of sanctions to “strategically target Russia’s commercial interests” which would be “enacted the moment the first Russian toe cap crosses further into Ukrainian territory”.
Before yesterday’s press conference in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, foreign secretary Liz Truss told Sky News there would be “nowhere to hide for Putin’s oligarchs involved in propping up the Russian state”.
“Any company of interest to the Kremlin and the regime in Russia would be able to be targeted,” Ms Truss said.
While no names have been submitted by the Foreign Office, three people were named by the MailOnline as possible targets for the British Government after any form of Ukrainian invasion.
Alisher Usmanov is the third most important oligarch in Russia, worth around £13.4 billion.
He lives in north London and owns a grade I listed Tudor mansion in Surrey – with both properties worth more than £100 million.
Mr Usmanov also owns a Moscow newspaper company. He even owned 30% of Arsenal until he sold it off.
Worth slightly less (£10.4 billion), Mikhail Fridman lives in Athlone House in north London – after he bought it for £65 million in 2016. He works in telecoms, philanthropy, banking and national resources.
Oil tycoon Oleg Deripaska, worth £3.2 billion, owns a home in Belgrave Square and has entertained Labour grandee Lord Mandelson on his yacht in Corfu. He is very close to the Kremlin and has previously been accused of helping the Russian government meddle in foreign affairs.
But perhaps the most familiar with the Kremlin is Igor Shuvlalov, worth £200 million, who used to be a deputy prime minister in Russia.
He reportedly owns a penthouse in Whitehall and has been rumoured to fly his wife’s Corgis around Europe in a private plane to compete in competitions, because “first-class was too uncomfortable for them”.
The London Stock Exchange is the foreign trading platform most Russian companies use.
About 60 companies, with a combined net worth of £70 billion, are listed in the UK and they all face sanctions too.
Mr Johnson took a hard line on the Kremlin on Tuesday, telling Russia NATO would help Ukraine “put up a very, very fierce and bloody resistance” should Putin make the call for a Ukrainian invasion. But he also appealed to Russia, asking Mr Putin to cooperate with resolving this conflict diplomatically and peacefully, as reported by The Metro.
He said: “I think perhaps the single most useful thing we can all do is get over to the Russian public – to citizens in Russia thinking about this possibility – the reality that the Ukrainian army will fight and there are 200,000 men and women in Ukraine.
“They will put up a very, very fierce and bloody resistance and I think that parents, mothers in Russia, should reflect on that fact. And I hope very much that President Putin steps back from the path of conflict and that we engage in dialogue and that is what the UK is intent on producing and that’s why I’m here today.”
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