Europe

“The rich also cry”: Russian licensed oligarchs lose luxury

From superyachts and mansions to private jets and works of art, mega-rich Russians are robbed of expensive toys under the swaying sanctions associated with the Vladimirputin war in Ukraine.

Foreclosure and freezing of assets proves the most difficult test to date for the “Oligarch” backed by the rich Kremlin in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union.

In the UK, more than 100 oligarchs and their families are restricted. The United States has sanctioned 140 and the European Union has sanctioned more than 30.

British Transport Minister Grant Shapps said the move was designed to attack where they hurt, denying “access to their gorgeous toys.”

The British capital has been called “Londongrad” for many years after the Russians became shelters for saving money, educating children and proceeding with proceedings.

“Welcome mats are now being robbed of Russian oligarchs,” the economist wrote.

Even the well-known Roman Abramovich was targeted and forced to sell the Chelsea Football Club purchased in 2003.

But acting against so many people in a highly globalized major economy is a “totally unknown territory,” said Alex Nice, a think-tank researcher at the Institute for Government. ..

Whenever the war ends, a deep rift with the west Russia He added that the property would remain, even if it had just been frozen, rather than being expropriated.

“It seems unlikely that these sanctions will be lifted soon,” Nice said.

In Moscow, independent Russian political analyst Constantine Karachev realizes his dream of recreating the Russian Empire, as Putin’s “special operations” in Ukraine could last “years”. He said it could even be expanded for.

“They never lift them (sanctions),” he told AFP if the decision was left to Ukraine.

avalanche

There is no doubt that sanctions have been implemented.

Forbes magazine removed 34 Russians from its annual list of millionaires last month because of a “sanctions avalanche.”

“War is an absolute disaster for them,” said Elizabeth Simpfestle, a sociology instructor at Aston University in Birmingham, central England, and author of a book called “The Rich Russians.” ..

Petr Aven, known for his rich collection of Russian art, told the Financial Times that he was uncertain whether he was “permitted to have a cleaner or driver” and faced an expulsion from Britain. rice field.

His long-term business partner, Mikhail Fridman, told Bloomberg News Agency that he was “shocked” and struggled to pay for cleaners.

Many oligarchs have multiple nationalities and do not rush back Russia.

The West said, “It was a base that I could go to whenever they were afraid of prosecution. Russia “.

“Oligarchs did not interfere with development Rule of law in Russia. “

Melodrama

The size of the target assets is astounding.

The UK government estimates that Abramovich alone is worth more than £ 9 billion ($ 11 billion, € 10.5 billion).

It also targets two employees worth up to £ 10 billion.

Abramovich is rumored to own six luxury superyachts, two of which were moored in Turkey in March to avoid sanctions.

EU member states report that they have frozen about $ 30 billion in Russian wealth, including about $ 7 billion in yachts, helicopters, property and works of art.

Washington states that it has sanctioned or blocked boats and aircraft worth more than $ 1 billion.

US President Joe Biden has proposed permanent sanctions, saying that oligarchs should not be allowed to enjoy luxury while Ukrainian children die.

In Fiji last week, police seized about $ 300 million worth of a 348-foot (106-meter) yacht called “Amadea” and contacted silent Senator Suleyman Kerimov at the request of Washington. I took it.

Images of Putin’s companion’s trapped yacht and mansion with shutters urge Schadenfreude Russia too.

“Ordinary Russians want to see’the rich also cry’,” Karachev said, citing the Mexican soap opera seen by Russians in the early 1990s.

What is not clear is whether sanctions will influence Moscow’s decision.

They cannot affect Putin. Because he meets such a business person “just to tell them things-it’s not a dialogue,” Karachev argued.

“The record of using economic coercion to try to force a change in foreign policy is not good,” Nice said.

But sanctions “will definitely weaken Russia’s ability to fight. “

oppose

Abramovich has been involved in negotiations aimed at ending the war with the consent of both parties. Other oligarchs have criticized the conflict.

On Instagram, UK-licensed entrepreneur and banker Oleg Tinkov accused “this crazy war” Russian “s **** y army”.

Friedman urged the end of bloodshed, and Oleg Deripaska, licensed by the United Kingdom, the EU and the United States, said it was “crazy” to continue the fight.

However, experts questioned the possibility that they would form an alliance with Putin.

“It’s hard to see it happening,” Nice said.

“It wouldn’t be in their interest to oppose Putin prematurely,” Simpfestle said.

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2022/05/10/rich-also-cry-russias-sanctioned-oligarchs-lose-luxuries-a77631 “The rich also cry”: Russian licensed oligarchs lose luxury

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