Potanin, Mikhelson and Alekperov vaccinated against sanctions

Exactly half of the 20 richest Russians have not been subject to Western sanctions in connection with the war against Ukraine. This can be seen from the analysis of the restrictive measures introduced by the EU, the US and the UK.
01.04.2022
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According to the publication, the UK has imposed sanctions on 10 of them, the EU on nine, and the US on only four. Only three of the twenty were included in all three sanctions lists. Of the five richest Russian businessmen, only one, Alexei Mordashov, fell under the sanctions, while the rest - Vladimir Potanin, Leonid Mikhelson, Vladimir Lisin and Vagit Alekperov - escaped this fate.

Sanctions experts speaking to Bloomberg say the decisions not to sanction some of Russia's richest are partly because they hold critical stakes in major energy, metals and minerals companies. “There are reasons to go after some oligarchs, and there are reasons to keep some of them in a state of limbo,” said John Smith, former head of sanctions at the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) at the US Treasury. “This [refusal to impose sanctions] may be because they [billionaires] are not considered to be close to decision-making in the Kremlin, or because they are difficult to sanction and governments want to develop a plan before pulling the trigger. hook".

As Bloomberg notes, the United States learned from the experience of 2018, when sanctions against billionaire Oleg Deripaska led to a sharp increase in aluminum prices.

The analysis of the publication also showed that the sanctions of the US, UK and EU have striking differences. The United States imposed restrictive measures against 852 people, the EU - 775, and the UK - 982. But many sanctions do not overlap: 550 people were subject to both British and European sanctions, but there are much fewer points of contact with US sanctions, Bloomberg notes.

Even experts, the newspaper writes, “unravel the threads with difficulty” and say that discrepancies in the restrictive measures taken by the UK, the EU and the US could undermine the effectiveness of the sanctions. “I definitely don’t see a pattern [in sanctions]. I still do not believe that the politicians [imposing sanctions] followed a single strategy, although they claimed that there was coordination between them, ”said George Voloshin, an expert on sanctions.

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