The damage to his reputation was enormous, the businessman said in an interview with Corriere della Sera.
The sanctions against Usmanov concern not only the businessman himself, but his family members and companies where he is a shareholder, as well as employees and "tens of thousands of people who have been helped by charitable and development projects," the entrepreneur said.
“Among them are the sick, the needy, and the artists. The damage to my reputation, on the other hand, is obvious: it is huge,” he said.
When asked if it was right to start a special operation in Ukraine, Usmanov replied that he keeps “away from politics” and prefers to work in areas in which he can “unite, not divide people: sports, business, charity.” Usmanov expressed hope that the conflict would end soon and mutual trust would be restored.
Related: Usmanov's press service linked his persecution in Germany with politics
The real estate associated with Usmanov in Sardinia was frozen as a result of sanctions, but the entrepreneur “does not forget” his love for Italy.
“I was hurt that Italy applied sanctions against me, friends don’t behave like that. But I understand that politics is politics. I do not forget the love for Italy, the songs that I sang as a child, football players, I even dreamed of fencing like an Italian. How will it end? I hope and believe that the law will prevail over political interests,” he said, stressing that the assets, with the exception of one villa, do not belong to him, but to trusts.
After the start of Russia's special operation in Ukraine, the businessman fell under the sanctions of the United States, Great Britain and the European Union. The USM holding founded by him called the EU restrictions against the businessman unreasonable. In July 2022, The Wall Street Journal reported that four Russian businessmen, including Usmanov, are trying to challenge the imposition of sanctions against them by the European Union through the courts. According to previously cited data from Corriere della Sera, the total amount of confiscated assets of 28 Russians in Italy is 2.7 billion euros. Businessmen, among whom Usmanov was named, own villas, yachts, planes and companies in the country. Lawyers of 10 Russians are involved in the trials: according to the newspaper, only one of the initiated cases ended in a verdict.