Russia’s sanctions have sparked fire sales and the freezing of property by the UK – based oligarchy

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich waves to fans after the UEFA Champions League final between Manchester City and Chelsea FC on May 29, 2021 at the Estadio do Draco in Porto, Portugal.

Alex Livese – Danehouse | Getty Images Sport | Getty Images

Billionaire Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich has plunged his most valuable UK assets into fire, in a recent move to distance himself from the wealth of Vladimir Putin’s inner circle as Western sanctions begin to bite.

The 55-year-old Mughal announced on Wednesday Sale of his valuable Chelsea football club In the UK, Putin is at the top of the list of billions of dollars worth of survivors of sanctions imposed by Western governments in an effort to prevent war.

The club, which Abramovich bought in 2003 for 140 140 million, is expected to sell for around 3 3 billion ($ 4 billion). He is said to be writing off a 1.5 billion loan owed to him by the Millionaire Club.

Meanwhile, the portfolio of London assets, including Kensington House worth £ 150 million and Chelsea Waterfront Penthouse, which was bought for £ 22 million in 2018, is said to fetch a total of £ 200 million.

The sale came a day before Western allies added new names to their list of permitted oligarchs on Thursday. United States And England Targeting people like Alisher Usmanov, who has close ties to the Kremlin. Sanctions will freeze their assets and ban travel.

Abramovich, who has so far avoided taking a political stance on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, said in a statement on Wednesday that the move was in the “best interests of the club” and that all net proceeds from the sale would be donated. Victims of war. His move to transform Chelsea’s maid into a charity continued last week.

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The timing of the sale was significant, however, and Chris Bryant, a lawmaker in the British opposition Labor Party, said Abramovich was “terrified of being allowed” and was dissolving his assets.

Pursuing the assets of oligarchy

Abramovich, whose $ 12.5 billion luck It was first obtained by selling Russian state property following the collapse of the Soviet Union, avoiding sanctions that had hit some of his colleagues so far.

But as the war enters its second week, there are signs that the tide is turning as Western authorities strengthen their commitment to target Russia’s wealthy elite.

Property for sale on March 2, 2022 in the Kensington district of London by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich.

Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

On Thursday, French officials A boat was captured They say they have teamed up with Rosneft boss Igor Sechin as part of Europe’s ongoing efforts to identify and seize luxury assets. The United States has launched a similar task force to seize the boats, luxury apartments and private jets of wealthy Russians associated with Putin.

Still, the clock sounds like targeted oligarchs Transfer their property to foreign territories And increase their wealth in cryptocurrencies.

According to CNBC analysis, Vakit Alekberov, the head of the Russian-based Lukoil, is traveling in his boat to Montenegro, while at least three boats belonging to other Russian millionaires are approaching the Maldives.

Not moving fast enough

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