Boris Johnson has announced sanctions against three Russian oligarchs as the UK takes action against Vladimir Putin’s “friends” in response to the “renewed invasion” of Ukraine.
Prime Minister announced a The first barrage of punitive measures They were arrested against Gennady Timchenko, Boris Rotenberg and his nephew Igor Rotenberg – with the trio described as “three high net worth individuals”.
Johnson said their assets in that country would be frozen – with anyone in Britain barred from doing business with them – and they would face a British travel ban.
So who are the three oligarchs? Sky News explains.
Timchenko is a billionaire ally of Putin and one of the most powerful people in Russia.
According to Forbes, the 69-year-old has a fortune of $23.5 billion (£17.3 billion) and has stakes in several Russian companies, including gas company Novatek and petrochemical producer Sibur Holding.
He owns the Volga Private Investment Group, which specializes in energy, transport and infrastructure investments.
He is also the president of the Russian National Hockey Federation and the president of the SKA Saint-Petersburg Hockey Club.
Timchenko and Putin are said to have been friends since at least the early 1990s when the businessman was an oil trader in St Petersburg and the Russian president was now a rising politician.
Ukraine live updates: UK imposes ‘immediate’ sanctions on Russia as ‘invasion’ begins
Timchenko went on to co-found Gunvor, a Switzerland-based trading company that exports billions of dollars in Russian oil.
He is a major shareholder in Rusiya, one of the five Russian banks that Johnson has sanctioned.
The UK government says Russia is a partner in the national media group that supported the destabilization of Ukraine after Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea.
He adds that Mr. Timchenko participated in an act that “undermines or threatens Ukraine’s territorial integrity, sovereignty or independence”.
The United States announced earlier Sanctions against Timchenko in 2014.
Mr. Rothenberg is Putin’s childhood friend and co-owner of SMP Bank, along with his brother Arkady.
He is a former judo partner of the Russian president and the duo often play ice hockey together.
According to Forbes magazine, Rothenberg’s fortune is $1.2 billion (£886 million).
The UK government describes Mr Rotenberg as a “prominent Russian businessman with close personal ties” to Putin.
She says he has benefited from the support of the Russian government through his role at SMP Bank.
Read more: Can Russia afford more sanctions?
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The Rottenbergs were subjected to US sanctions and had their assets frozen in 2014 due to their close ties to Putin.
The US Treasury alleged that the Russian president awarded Rotenbergs billions of dollars in contracts with gas giant Gazprom and for the Sochi Olympics.
Boris Rothenberg’s son Roman was recently appointed head coach of leading ice hockey team SKA St Petersburg even though he has never played or managed professionally.
His other son, also called Boris, played as a defender for football club Dynamo Moscow from 2011 to 2016, prompting allegations that he was in the team only because his father was its president.
Igor Rotenberg is the son of billionaire Arkady Rotenberg, who is a close friend of Putin.
The 48-year-old company controls drilling company Gazprom Bureniye and is worth $1.1 billion, according to Forbes.
After the United States imposed sanctions on his father in 2014, Rothenberg bought his father’s stakes in some assets.
The UK government says Mr Rothenberg is “a prominent Russian businessman with close family ties to President Putin”.
He adds that he is chairman of the board of directors of National Telematic Systems and a shareholder of RT-Invest Transport System, which is “of strategic importance to the Russian government.”
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