UK sets out further Russia sanctions and targets Putin’s “inner circle”

Benjamin Brown in London

The United Kingdom announced further sanctions against Russian citizens and companies on Wednesday, including some described as being in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “inner circle.”

Among those sanctioned is Vladimir Potanin, described by the UK government as Russia’s second-richest man, with an estimated net worth of nearly $16 billion, and a “key supporter of the Kremlin” accused of continuing “to amass wealth as he supports Putin’s regime.”

Putin’s cousin Anna Tsivileva has also been sanctioned. As president of the Russian coal mining company JSC Kolmar Group — also sanctioned Tuesday — the UK believes Tsivileva and her husband Sergey Tsivilev, the governor of the coal-rich Kemerovo region, have “significantly benefitted” from their relationship with Putin.

The UK’s latest sanctions also target Russian citizens and companies for their alleged involvement in supporting the Assad regime in Syria, a key Russian ally in the Middle East.

“As long as Putin continues his abhorrent assault on Ukraine, we will use sanctions to weaken the Russian war machine. Today’s sanctions show that nothing and no one is off the table, including Putin’s inner circle,” a UK government spokesperson said.

Working together with international allies, the government said it would introduce measures to prevent Russia from using UK trusts services used to manage assets of others.

The British government says it has sanctioned more than 1,000 people and more than 120 businesses since Russia invaded Ukraine in late February.

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