Russia-Ukraine war: New Zealand adds Chelsea FC owner to sanctions list
Roman Abramovich, owner of Chelsea Football Club. Photo/PA
Russian oligarch and long-time Chelsea football club owner Roman Abramovich is on the New Zealand government’s latest list of those sanctioned in connection with the war in Ukraine.
A further 36 people will be banned from traveling to New Zealand under a new round of sanctions targeting Russian oligarchs which will take effect at midnight.
UK and EU sanctions have forced Abramovich to put the British soccer club he has owned since 2003 up for sale, transfer control of at least two investment vehicles to a partner and pilot two superyachts to seek refuge in Turkey , reported the Financial Times.
Forbes reports that Abramovich has a net worth of US$8.3 billion. The Washington Post reported that Abramovich bought Chelsea Football Club for around $197 million and put it up for sale for a reported value of $4 billion.
Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced a new round of sanctions tonight, targeting oligarchs or their close family members who had close personal ties to Vladimir Putin or the Russian government.
That list included some of Russia’s wealthiest businessmen as well as presidents and CEOs of some of Russia’s biggest companies, Mahuta said.
The sanctions – which come into effect at midnight tonight – also prevent such people from moving assets here or using New Zealand’s financial systems to hide from sanctions imposed by other countries.
“New Zealand is appalled by reports over the weekend of targeted killings and abuse of civilians as Russian troops withdraw from parts of Ukraine,” the minister said.
“Through our sanctions, we are working with the international community to exert real pressure on those who support Putin and his regime, and send a clear message that this illegal invasion cannot continue, and that the brutality and inhumane acts of the troops Russians cannot be tolerated.”
This is the second round of sanctions after the Russian sanctions law was passed in early March. The first tranche of sanctions targeted 19 entities, President Putin and members of his National Security Council, as well as adding 364 people to New Zealand’s travel ban list.
“Officials continue to work as quickly as possible to identify individuals and entities, while ensuring that legal thresholds are met and due diligence is exercised. Further measures will be enacted in the coming weeks.” , said Mahuta.