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Sanctions, Brussels launches the “black list” of oligarchs

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Sanctions, Brussels launches the “black list” of oligarchs

War or peace, the EU bureaucracy does not change. The worsening of the “special military operation” (as Vladimir Putin euphemistically defines it) or the Russia-Ukraine war (as the Kiev authorities correctly call it) has led the European Union to initiate the largest sanctions program in history against the Russian economy: targeted freezing of Swift transactions, freezing of the president’s personal assets, ban on the export of technology and equipment, and so on.

As a corollary, the European Council has ordered a heavy package of heavy “ad personam” sanctions, aimed at hitting 26 leading figures in the “inner circle” of Putinian power, who are entrusted in particular with the levers of economic power within Russia. organized into large economic conglomerates. These are the so-called oligarchs, the favorites of the regime, also well known in Western countries for their economic weight and their super-rich bizarre, among which Igor Sechin, Mikhail Fridman, Petr Aven, but also political personalities such as Putin’s spokesman , Dmitri Peskov.

25 tycoons and one company targeted

However, to become operational, the list of those sanctioned must follow EU rules. Hence the regular (and timely) publication in the Official Journal of the European Union L 59/1 of 28 February 2022, as a “non-legislative act”, of the related European Council Decision 2022/337 which lists 25 people (and the company for Sogaz shares), considered to be Putin’s supporters and supporters, and therefore ended up in Brussels’ crosshairs. In 15 pages, the Journal summarizes in an orderly manner the Curriculum vitae of famous hologarchi, listing name (also in Cyrillic), “identification information”, such as date and place of birth, sex and citizenship, and reason for inclusion in the ” blacklist”.

For each, a synthetic photograph in about forty lines that explains the closeness to the Russian leader: mutual favors, economic support, in some cases the common service in the KGB, assistance and collaboration in control plans on the state economy Russian, the “active support” for the actions that in recent years have compromised Ukrainian sovereignty. The 25 are added to another 671 people, entities and bodies already subjected to European sanctions (but the list is destined to grow further). For them, the freezing of assets and the ban on entering or transiting the territory of EU countries are triggered.

The Ghota of economic power favored by Putin

So let’s see this list. You find us Igor Sechin, CEO of Rosneft, a Russian state-owned oil company and one of the world‘s largest producers of crude oil. He is considered one of the most powerful members of the Russian political elite and one of Putin’s most trusted advisors, as well as his personal friend, in daily contact with the president. His ties to Vladimir Putin are long and deep: he worked with the president in the mayor’s office in St. Petersburg in the 1990s and has demonstrated his loyalty ever since. His the course of honors reflects all this: in 1999 deputy head of the Putin administration, in 2008 deputy prime minister, in 2012 the role of CEO in Rosneft.

Mikhail Fridman he is the founder and one of the main shareholders of the Alfa Group, which includes the large Russian bank Alfa Bank. He managed to cultivate strong ties with Vladimir Putin’s administration and was listed as one of the top Russian financiers and enabler of Putin’s inner circle. In his time, he managed to acquire state assets through links with the government. Vladimir Putin’s eldest daughter Maria ran a charity project, Alfa-Endo, funded by Alfa Bank. Vladimir Putin rewarded the Alfa Group’s loyalty to the Russian authorities by providing political aid to the Alfa Group’s foreign investment plans.

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