UK freezes up to $13 billion in assets of two business partners of Roman Abramovich

Topline

The UK sanctioned two longtime associates of Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich on Thursday, freezing up to $13 billion in assets linked to the pair, as countries continue to crack down on Russia’s elite following the invasion Russian from Ukraine.

Highlights

Liz Truss, British Foreign Secretary mentioned the government will freeze the assets of Eugene Tenenbaum and David Davidovich – the largest asset freeze measure in the country’s history.

The UK Foreign Office mentioned Tenenbaum has described himself as one of Abramovich’s closest associates and is manager of Chelsea FC, the football team Abramovich put up for sale last month.

Tenenbaum took control of Evrington Investments Limited, an investment firm linked to Abramovich, the day Russia invaded Ukraine, according to documents filed by the FCO office.

Davidovich, a former billionaire, took over Evrington Investments from Tenenbaum last month, according to the FCO office, and also faces a travel ban.

Forbes reports that Davidovich is Abramovich’s “much more low-key right-hand man” and has worked with Abramovich for years.

Large number

106. This is the number of Russian oligarchs, their associates and family members that the UK has sanctioned since February.

Key Context

Abramovich, worth approximately $8.3 billion per Forbes’ estimates, has faced sanctions for his ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Although Abramovich has refuse that he is close to Putin’s inner circle, he took part in the peace talks between Russia and Ukraine last month, where he was allegedly poisoned. Abramovich was sanctioned by the UK and EU last month, upending his plans to sell Chelsea FC Four finalists are said to be in the running to buy the team, valued at around $3.2billion, and bidding is expected end on April 18, when the sales consultant will present the Premier League and the British government with a unique offer.

Tangent

The sanctions against Tenenbaum and Davidovich came in coordination with the Channel Island of Jersey’s actions against Abramovich on Wednesday, the UK Foreign Office said. The Royal Court of Jersey froze assets valued at approximately $7 billion which is “suspected to be linked” to Abramovich himself and which is either located on the island or held by entities incorporated in Jersey.

crucial quote

“We are tightening the ratchet on Putin’s war machine and targeting the circle of people closest to the Kremlin,” Truss said in a statement. “We will continue to impose sanctions until Putin fails in Ukraine. Nothing and no one is on the table.

Further reading

Roman Abramovich has $7 billion in suspicious assets frozen in Jersey (Forbes)

A source close to Roman Abramovich confirms that he was poisoned while helping to negotiate in Ukraine (Forbes)

UK sanctions Roman Abramovich and six other Russian oligarchs, freezes assets including Chelsea FC (Forbes)