The European Union has frozen the account of Alisher Usmanov, a Uzbekistan-born billionaire believed to have close ties with the Russian President, Vladimir Putin.
The sanctions imposed by the EU are in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Mr Usmanov’s company is one of the sponsors of Everton, a football club based in the United Kingdom.
In 2017, Mr Usmanov’s USM Holdings announced a five-year sponsorship deal of Everton’s training ground. It also has an option on naming rights for the new stadium, a deal worth £30 million to the club.
What the EU is saying
The EU in a statement on Monday said its Council had, “added 26 persons and one entity to the list of persons, entities and bodies subject to restrictive measures in respect of actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine.”
Mr Usmanov and his business partner Farhad Moshiri were among the 26 persons added according to a regulation update in EU’s official journal.
Mr Usmanov is believed to have close ties with the Russian president. In a statement, the EU described him as a “pro-Kremlin oligarch with particularly close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin”.
The restrictive measures on the 26 persons include freezing of accounts, a prohibition from making funds available to the listed individuals and entities and a travel ban applicable to the listed persons which prevents them from entering or transiting through EU territory.
What you should know
- On February 23, EU approved the first kind of sanctions which included blacklisting Russian politicians and curbing trade between the EU and two breakaway regions of eastern Ukraine whose independence Putin has recognised.
- The sanctions are imposed by the European Union in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine; they are aimed at limiting Russia’s ability to do business in dollars, euros, pounds and yen.
- Other restrictions include Restricting Russia access to EU’s capital and financial markets and services, a ban on transactions with the Russian Central Bank and a ban on the overflight of EU airspace and on access to EU airports by Russian carriers of all kinds.
- On February 25, the EU froze Vladimir Putin’s account and that of Sergey Lavrov, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.
- On February 28, The EU announced sanctions against 26 more individuals which included: Russian billionaire oligarchs Mikhail Fridman, Alisher Usmanov, Alexey Mordashov, Gennady Timchenko and Alexander Ponomarenko.
- According to the EU, 26 persons and one entity are subject to restrictive measures in respect of actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine.