The order of the president Vladimir Putin invading Ukraine woke up the alarms of a group of Russian tycoonswho saw their foreign investments threatenedin the first instance, for the Economic sanctions and then by the possible blocking of assets by the United States and different countries of the European Union (EU).
One of them was businessman Dmitry Ryboloyevwho, in addition to owning AS Monaco, from France, he is father-in-law of Senator Juan Sartori and father of his wife, Ekaterina. The Russian owner, who made his fortune in the fertilizer business, established himself as one of the renowned oligarchs during the Putin era.
In the last days, the US congress pointed to him as one of the figures close to the president of Russia. But, despite being included in the list of the Putin Accountability Act, was excluded from an inventory drawn up by the French authorities to identify and sanction Russian entities and oligarchs.
French media confirmed that the tycoon and Putin do not maintain a close link. They even pointed out that Ryboloyev has not been identified as a supporter of their ideas. However, they also recorded the statements of the French Finance Minister, Bruno Le Maire, who stated that the list of those sanctioned could increase in the coming days.
Rybolovlevwho travels around the world on business, He has an estimated fortune of US$6 billion. He left Russia in 2010, after selling his 53% stake in the Uralkali fertilizer company to a group of investors close to President Putin.
He was the protagonist in 2011 of the most expensive purchase of an apartment in New York with his daughter Ekaterina as figurehead, whom he also included in the signing of a check to acquire Skorpios Island. It also has properties in the United States, orA villa in the tourist center of Gstaad, two ocean-going planes, a gigantic yacht, and two-thirds of the Monaco club, among other assets.
As announced last Saturday, the US government works next to that of Germany, Canada, France, Italy, the United Kingdom and the European Commission on a “transatlantic task force”, aimed at “identifying and freezing the assets of sanctioned individuals and companies” that exist in their jurisdictions. The businesses of Rybolovlev could be threatened.
The tycoon has argued on multiple occasions that generated his fortune after the dissolution of the USSR and before Putin took office for the first time, in 1999. During his career, he has sought to keep his distance from the various local rulers, although not from former United States President Donald Trump, from whom he bought a property for US$95 million in 2008.
Like his compatriot Roman Abramovich, owner of Chelsea, has not yet been subject to financial sanctions by the European Unionbut the tension continues to rise with each Russian attack on Ukraine. The pressures to the government headed by Joe Biden are intended to issue sanctions to millionaires whose wealth remains hidden in luxury properties in their country. The president himself acknowledged that he will put more pressure and promised go after the “ill-gotten gains” of Russian oligarchs and seize their “yachts, luxury apartments and private planes”.
Abramovich announced last Saturday that he delegated the management of the English club to six administrators of the foundation. In turn, he specified that he will not request the repayment of the loans he granted to the institution, estimated at 1,500 million pounds (1,800 million euros, US $ 2,000 million) and that the “net proceeds” of the sale will be destined to ” a charitable foundation for the benefit of all victims of the war in Ukraine”.
Although Ryboloyev’s situation is differentbecause the French league confirmed that it will not take action against his club, too appears punctuated by the climate of war.
In last Sunday’s match, when AS Monaco faced Reims at the Stade Louis II, Senator Sartori, his wife and Oleg Petrov, the club’s Russian vice president, were present on the box.
New sanctions from the White House
The United States imposed new sanctions on Thursday on Russian oligarchs “who continue to support President Vladimir Putin despite his brutal invasion of Ukraine,” the Biden administration announced.
Eight new members of the “Russian elite” and their relatives will see their eventual assets in the United States frozen and their access to the American financial system blocked. They are in particular Alisher Usmanov, one of Russia’s richest people and a close ally of Putin, and Dmitri Peskov, a Kremlin spokesman and “one of its main purveyors of propaganda,” the White House said.
In Usmanov’s case, the measures will affect “his superyacht, one of the largest in the world, and which has just been confiscated by Germany, and his private jet, one of the largest private planes in Russia,” according to a statement. .
Also sanctioned were Nikolai Tokarev, CEO of Transneft, a heavyweight in the oil and gas sector; Boris and Arkady Rotenberg, two brothers from a family considered very close to Putin; Sergei Chemezov, head of the oil industry conglomerate Rostec Defense; Igor Shuvalov, director of VEB, the Russian development bank; and Yevgeniy Prigozhin, another close friend of the Kremlin.
They join the Russian personalities already sanctioned last week by the United States, to align the US list with the sanctions of the European Union, which since Monday include several of these names, a source close to the matter told AFP. Washington had already sanctioned Russian businessmen, close to the Kremlin and even Putin last week.
The new measures include the direct relatives of those sanctioned to prevent them from transferring their properties to their relatives. At the same time, 19 Russian oligarchs and 47 members of their families are banned from entering the United States, the White House said without publishing their names.
This new wave of US punitive measures comes as several of these billionaires are under pressure or beginning to distance themselves from Putin’s war in Ukraine.
In coordination with its European allies, Washington thus created a cell of investigators on Wednesday in charge of persecuting them and, possibly, seizing these luxury goods. “These individuals have enriched themselves at the expense of the Russians,” “and are in charge of providing the necessary resources to support Putin’s invasion of Ukraine,” estimates the US executive.
“Treasury will share its financial intelligence and other evidence, when appropriate, with the Department of Justice to support criminal prosecutions and asset seizures,” the White House said.
With information from AFP