| 15 April 2024, Monday |

Britain sanctions Russian oligarch Vladimir Potanin

Britain issued sanctions against oligarch Vladimir Potanin on Wednesday, who London characterized as the second-richest person in Russia and who has been purchasing assets from companies leaving Russia due to the invasion of Ukraine.

Russia’s “Nickel King,” Potanin, was listed in Britain’s most recent round of sanctions lists along with other businesspeople, financial institutions, and other entities.

Britain, along with Western allies, has been imposing sanctions against Russian elites, banks and strategic industries since Russia invaded Ukraine in February. Russia says it is conducting a “special military operation” in Ukraine.

“Today’s sanctions show that nothing and no one is off the table, including Putin’s inner circle,” a British government spokesperson said.

Potanin is one of Russia’s richest people, although his net worth depends largely on the value of his 36% stake in Nornickel, the world’s largest producer of palladium and refined nickel.

Since the invasion, Potanin has snapped up Rosbank from Societe Generale when the French lender exited the Russian market, before adding a 35% stake in TCS Group. The deals were done via his Interros holding company.

“Potanin continues to amass wealth as he supports Putin’s regime, acquiring Rosbank, and shares in Tinkoff Bank in the period since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” the government press notice accompanying the announcement said.

The British sanctions list said Potanin had been included because he was “obtaining a benefit from or supporting the government of Russia by owning or controlling Rosbank. Rosbank is carrying on business in the Russian financial services sector, which is a sector of strategic significance to the Government of Russia”.

The list also included Anna Tsivileva, who the foreign office said was Putin’s cousin and president of Russian coal mining company, JSC Kolmar Group. The mining company was also sanctioned.

  • Reuters