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EU imposes sanctions on Russian oligarchs

EU imposes sanctions on Russian oligarchs

The list of sanctions also includes Alexei Mordashov, the main shareholder in the ruling oligarch and Tui, a confidant of Putin and the head of the state-owned Rosneft Corporation, Igor Sechin, and the billionaire and head of Alfa-Bank, Mikhail Fridman. Entrepreneurs Alisher Usmanov, Pyotr Aven and Nikolai Tokaryo were also mentioned.

So far, the Russian oligarchs have been able to count on the fact that they and their money are welcome in European capitals. But after Putin’s attack on Ukraine, they are increasingly under the scrutiny of Western governments.

One problem is that the EU does not have access to large assets. In Great Britain in particular, it was easy for the oligarchy to hide their property with the help of shell companies and straw men.

Switzerland is also a particularly important financial center for Russians. According to figures from the National Bank, Russian assets worth about 15 billion Swiss francs (14.43 billion euros) were held in Swiss accounts in 2021. Another billions flow into Switzerland every year. The government in Berne decided on Monday to join the EU sanctions. President Ignazio Cassis said that the assets of all companies and individuals on European sanctions lists are immediately blocked.

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