Putin’s pals facing sanctions
February 23, 2022 - Britain has announced sanctions on three of President Vladimir Putin’s friends who face asset freezes, trading curbs, and travel bans to the UK as part of the government’s response to the conflict in Ukraine.
The three individuals include Gennady Timchenko, Boris Rotenberg and Igor Rotenberg. Five banks have also had their assets frozen.
Close Putin ally Gennady Timchenko is a billionaire hockey enthusiast with business interests in energy, transportation and construction via his Volga investment group. The Volga has a 23 per cent stake in Novatek, Russia’s second-largest natural gas producer.
The British government has accused Timchenko of supporting Putin’s destabilisation of Ukraine through his association with Bank Rossiya, of which he is a significant shareholder. Rossiya is involved in bankrolling the Russian occupation of Crimea.
Igor Rotenberg, another close associate of President Putin, is the oldest son of Arkady Rotenberg and the majority shareholder in the Gazprom Bureniye drilling company.
Igor’s uncle, Boris Rotenberg, is the co-owner -- along with his brother Arkady -- of the Stroygazmontazh group, the largest construction company for gas pipelines and electrical power supply lines in Russia. The brothers are also co-owners of the sanctioned SMP Bank.
The other sanctioned banks include Rossiya and the Black Sea Bank -- a Crimean bank created in 2014 after Russia annexed the region. The General Bank also operates in Crimea, while Promsvyazbank is a Russian state-owned bank that provides Russia’s military funding.