British Prime Minister Theresa May endorsed the list of Russian businessmen and top managers submitted to her for whom the authorities intend to exert pressure and who “should become targets for British intelligence,” The Daily Telegraph writes, citing sources in the special services. The blacklist includes Roman Abramovich, Igor Sechin, Alisher Usmanov, Oleg Deripaska, as well as Arkady and Boris Rotenberg.
“These individuals have been identified as having extremely close professional and financial relations with President Vladimir Putin. We believe that they participate in the Kremlin’s deals in a number of areas, including using their financial capabilities in favor of the Russian state, ”the source said.
"The measures that we intend to take should limit their freedom of maneuver and the ability to freely travel and work in the UK, Europe and other countries," said a source. “The impact on these people will be an important part of the UK government’s response to the Salisbury attack,” he explained.
The list will be given to the British allies in North America and Europe, the newspaper said.
Businessman Roman Abramovich was on the list because intelligence considered him "the most important financial sponsor of Vladimir Putin," and Deripaska, according to British intelligence, provides the Kremlin with financial support, and also has close relations with the intelligence services of Russia GRU which carried out an attack with a nerve agent in Salisbury.
With regard to Alisher Usmanov, the publication did not result in specific charges. The article mentions the phrase “I spit on you, Alexei Navalny” from a businessman’s address to the founder of the Anti-Corruption Foundation. Arkady Rotenberg is mentioned as Putin’s former judo partner, and Igor Sechin is called the “energy baron” and “the most powerful oligarch of Russia”.
Representatives of Abramovich and Rotenberg declined to comment on RBC, the representative of Deripaska did not respond to the request.
Earlier, on December 5, London announced the suspension of the program for issuing "gold" visas such as Tier 1, which were designed for investors willing to invest at least £ 2 million ($ 2.5 million) in the British economy. According to the BBC, such visas were especially popular among Russians and Chinese, they were given for three years and four months with the option to extend for another two years. After this period, the holder of such a visa could apply for a permanent residence permit. In 2017, the UK authorities issued more than a thousand investor visas, and mainly to citizens of Russia and China.