Banned from Britain: The three Putin cronies slapped with PM's sanctions

22 February 2022, 15:30 | Updated: 23 February 2022, 13:20

By Patrick Grafton-Green

Boris Johnson has announced sanctions against three Russian oligarchs after the country ordered troops into eastern Ukraine.

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Gennady Timchenko, Boris Rotenberg and Igor Rotenberg, all close allies of Russian president Vladimir Putin, will have their UK assets frozen and be prevented from travelling to the UK.

The Prime Minister said five banks - Rossiya, IS Bank, GenBank, Promsvyazbank and the Black Sea Bank - were also being targeted.

READ MORE: Johnson unveils sanctions on five Russian banks and three oligarchs after Ukraine invasion

READ MORE: Russia orders troops into Ukraine on 'peacekeeping mission' as West reacts with sanctions

He added: "Any assets they hold in the UK will be frozen, the individuals concerned will be banned from travelling here and we will prohibit all UK individuals and entities from having any dealings with them.

"This the first tranche, the first barrage of what we are prepared to do and we hold further sanctions at readiness to be deployed."

Timchenko and Boris Rotenberg have faced US sanctions since 2014, while Igor Rotenberg has since 2018.

Gennady Timchenko

Last year, Gennady Timchenko's fortune was estimated at $19.5 billion, placing him at 96th on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index and making him the 6th richest person in Russia.

The 69-year-old has interests in Russian gas and petrochemical businesses.

He founded and owns private investment group Volga Group, which specializes in investments in energy, transport and infrastructure assets.

He is a "major shareholder in Rossiya Bank", the UK government says, which in turn is "a key stakeholder in the National Media Group which supports Russian policy which is destabilising Ukraine".

Timchenko's fortune was estimated at $19.5 billion last year
Timchenko's fortune was estimated at $19.5 billion last year. Picture: Alamy

Following the annexation of Crimea in 2014, Rossiya has "expanded its bank branches and provision of insurance and investment" throughout the peninsula and "offers support to military activities and the formation of major transport links and cards that allow the public to travel easily".

The UK government concludes that Rossiya "has supported the consolidation of Crimea into the Russian Federation by integrating the financial system following the annexation of Crimea".

It adds: "Timchenko therefore is or has been involved in engaging in, providing support for, or promoting any policy or action which destabilises Ukraine or undermines or threatens the territorial integrity, sovereignty or independence of Ukraine.

"Additionally, Timchenko is associated with a person involved in destabilising Ukraine or undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty or independence of Ukraine."

Boris Rotenberg

Rotenberg, who estimated to be worth $1.2 billion, is a "prominent Russian businessman with close personal ties" to Vladimir Putin, the UK government says.

He co-owns of the SGM (StroyGazMontazh) group with his brother Arkady Rotenberg, the largest construction company for gas pipelines and electrical power supply lines in Russia.

The UK government states that Rotenberg is a major shareholder of SMP Bank, sitting on the board of directors.

Boris Rotenberg is a "prominent Russian businessman with close personal ties" to Vladimir Putin
Boris Rotenberg is a "prominent Russian businessman with close personal ties" to Vladimir Putin. Picture: Alamy

His involvement with the bank means Rotenberg "is or has been involved in obtaining a benefit from or supporting the government of Russia", it adds.

It says the bank "is a Russian government affiliated-entity which obtains a financial benefit or other material benefit from the government of Russia and is carrying out business in the finance sector which is a sector of strategic significance to the government of Russia".

Igor Rotenberg

Boris Rotherberg's nephew, Igor is a "prominent Russian businessmen with close familial ties to President Putin", the UK government says.

He is estimated to be worth $1.1 billion, and is the majority shareholder in Gazprom Drilling

Igor Rotenberg is the chairman of the board of directors of National Telematic Systems (NTS).

Boris Rotherberg's nephew, Igor (right) also has close ties to Putin
Boris Rotherberg's nephew, Igor (right) also has close ties to Putin. Picture: Alamy

"NTS is conducting business in the transport sector, which is of strategic significance to the government of Russia, and therefore through his role as chairman of the board of directors to NTS, Igor Rotenberg is benefiting from or supporting the government of Russia," the UK government adds.

"Igor Rotenberg is also a shareholder in RT-Invest Transport Systems (RTITS)", it says, adding: "RTITS is conducting business in the transport sector, which is of strategic significance to the government of Russia. It is also obtaining a benefit from the government of Russia."