Ukraine: Who is not on the UK sanctions list?

Ukraine: Who is not on the UK sanctions list?

By Reality Check team

BBC News

Image source, Getty Images

Image caption, Mr Deripaska (left) pictured with President Putin in 2014

Western governments have been adding to their lists of people they are sanctioning following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

There are still several Russian individuals who have been sanctioned by the US or the EU but not by the UK.

Their names appeared on a list of 35 people who Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny suggested should be sanctioned, which was read out in parliament by Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran.

Oleg Deripaska

An industrialist with close ties to President Putin, Mr Deripaska has been sanctioned in the US since April 2018, with the US Treasury saying he had been “investigated for money laundering, and has been accused of threatening the lives of business rivals, illegally wiretapping a government official, and taking part in extortion and racketeering. There are also allegations that Deripaska bribed a government official, ordered the murder of a businessman, and had links to a Russian organized crime group.”

At the time of the sanctions in 2018, one of Mr Deripaska’s companies Basic Element released a statement saying: “Certainly the grounds for putting my name on the list of SDNs [specially designated nationals] as provided by US officials are groundless, ridiculous and absurd.”

He owns 45% of the aluminium company EN+, which listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2017, raising $1.5bn (£1.1bn), and currently has former Conservative energy minister Lord Barker as its executive chairman.

The US introduced sanctions against EN+ in April 2018, but these were lifted the following year after Mr Deripaska reduced his holding in the company.

We have contacted Mr Deripaska for comment.

On 27 February, he posted in Russian on the messaging app Telegram to say about Ukraine: “Negotiations need to start as soon as possible.”

Image source, Getty Images

Alisher Usmanov

The Uzbek-born Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov is sanctioned by the EU but not the UK or the US.

The EU Council said: “Alisher Usmanov is a pro-Kremlin oligarch with particularly close ties to Russian president Vladimir Putin.”

He founded USM Holding company, a Russia-based investment group that owns major iron, steel and copper suppliers as well as MegaFon, a telecommunications company.

He held a 30% stake in Arsenal Football Club, but he sold it in 2018. He now has commercial ties to Everton Football Club.

Others under sanctions elsewhere

There are13 other individuals named by Mr Navalny who appear on the EU or the US sanctions list but not on the UK’s.

Andrey Kostin, president of the Russian state-owned VTB bank, is currently on the US and EU lists of sanctioned individuals.

The UK has added VTB Capital – listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) – to the list of sanctioned entities. The LSE suspended the bank on 25 February.

Alexander Kalashnikov, added by the EU to their list of human rights violators, was sacked as director of Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service in 2021, after a scandal concerning the widespread practice of torture in Russian prisons. He is also sanctioned by the US.

Victor Zolotov, on the US and EU lists but not on the UK’s, leads Russia’s National Guard. His family is one of the richest in Russia in the real estate sector.

Alexei Miller, chairman of the management committee of Gazprom, and Igor Sechin, president of Rosneft (and former deputy Russian prime minister), both appear on the US list but not the UK’s.

On 23 February, the EU added four people not sanctioned in the UK to its sanctioned list:

Igor Shuvalov, appointed by President Putin as chairman of the financial institution VEB.RF Vladimir Soloviev, a Russian television presenterMargarita Simonyan, editor-in-chief of the Russia Today television news networkAnton Vaino, President Putin’s chief of staff.On 25 February, the EU added:

Pavel Krasheninnikov, a member of the Russian parliament Mikhail Mishustin, prime minister of Russia On 28 February, the EU added:

Nikolay Tokarev, chief executive of the oil and gas company TransneftDmitry Peskov, President Putin’s spokesperson.Roman Abramovich

Another prominent name that features on Mr Navalny’s list is Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich.

Mr Abramovich is not under any sanctions by the UK, the EU or the US.

Image source, Getty Images

Image caption, Mr Abramovich sometimes attends Chelsea games at Stamford Bridge

The Russian billionaire made a vast fortune in oil following the breakup of the Soviet Union.

He now owns a large property portfolio, including a mansion in Kensington, London.

Several MPs in the UK have called for Mr Abramovich’s assets to be sanctioned, alleging close ties to the Kremlin which the billionaire denies.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson had to correct himself after he mistakenly told parliament Mr Abramovich was facing sanctions, and UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has refused to say if the government was considering sanctioning the Russian oligarch.

Labour MP Chris Bryant has quoted a leaked Home Office document from 2019, which he said showed that Mr Abramovich was a potential target for sanctions by the UK government back then.

The document quoted in parliament said this was “due to his links to the Russian state and his public association with corrupt activity and practices… An example of this is Abramovich admitting in court proceedings that he paid for political influence.”

Mr Bryant added: “That’s nearly three years ago. And yet remarkably little has been done.”

Mr Abramovich has previously denied having close financial ties with Vladimir Putin or the Kremlin. We have contacted him for a response on the latest comments.

On 26 February, Mr Abramovich released a statement which said he had handed over “the stewardship and care of Chelsea FC” to the club’s charitable foundation. He will remain the club’s owner though.

On 28 February, his spokesperson said that Mr Abramovich had been asked by Ukraine to help support their attempts to reach a “peaceful resolution” with Russia.

Image source, Getty Images

Russian companies

In addition to individuals there have been questions in parliament about why action has not been taken against some Russian companies.

Gazprom is one of the world’s biggest natural gas companies and is partly state-owned.

The US has sanctions against Gazprom but the UK does not.

The same is true of Rosneft, the Russian oil company, which is 40% owned by the Russian state, and 20% owned by British oil giant BP.

On Friday, members of the House of Lords questioned why Rosneft and Gazprom were not on the government’s sanctions list.

On Monday, BP announced that it would be selling its stake in Rosneft after Russia’s “act of aggression in Ukraine”.

Also, Shell announced it would be ending all of its joint ventures with Gazprom, including selling its stake in the offshore Sakhalin II oil and gas development.

How many entities are sanctioned?

In his statement to the House of Commons on Thursday, Boris Johnson said “we will be imposing asset freezes on more than 100 new entities and individuals, on top of the hundreds that we have already announced”.

But the government’s sanctions list only named six companies and five individuals with new sanctions against them.

We have asked the government to clarify the names of the rest of those sanctioned.

Russia attacks Ukraine: More coverage

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