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Three super-rich Russian oligarchs with close ties to Vladimir Putin have been blacklisted with punishing UK sanctions.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson identified the trio of “very high net wealth individuals” as Gennady Timchenko, Boris Rotenberg and his nephew Igor Rotenberg.

The men were targeted in a “first barrage” of punitive measures, Mr Johnson said.

The sanctions against three oligarchs is a message to people around Putin, in his inner-circle, that they could also be blacklisted if Russia goes further.
The sanctions against three oligarchs is a message to people around Putin, in his inner-circle, that they could also be blacklisted if Russia goes further. (Getty)

“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,” he said.

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

Gennady Timchenko

With an estimated net worth of $32.5 billion, Mr Timchenko is one of Russia’s most powerful men.

He is involved in a number of Russian businesses, including gas company Novatek and petrochemical producer Sibur Holding.

Mr Timchenko is a major shareholder in Bank Rossiya, one of five Russian banks sanctioned by the UK.

Gennady Nikolayevich Timchenko is a major shareholder in Bank Rossiya
Gennady Nikolayevich Timchenko is a major shareholder in Bank Rossiya (AP Photo / Dmitri Lovetsky)

The UK Foreign Office said Bank Rossiya is a key stakeholder in the National Media Group which supports Russian policy in destabilising Ukraine.

Bank Rossiya was viewed by the British government to be a beneficiary of Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.

Mr Timchenko is a close friend and ally of Mr Putin.

Boris Rotenberg

Forbes estimate Mr Rotenberg’s net worth at $1.6 billion.

A childhood friend of Mr Putin, Mr Rotenberg is a major shareholder and director of SMP Bank.

He is also a co-owner of SGM, the largest construction company for gas pipelines and electrical power supply lines in Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, is pictured alongside businessman and billionaire Arkady Rotenberg, who is the brother Boris Rotenberg.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, is pictured alongside businessman and billionaire Arkady Rotenberg, who is the brother Boris Rotenberg. (Alexei Druzhinin / Sputnik)

“The Rotenberg brothers have known Putin since they were boys growing up in St Petersburg,” the UK Foreign Office said.

“A former professional judo trainer, he was the Russian President’s former sparring partner.

“Boris is also a member of the St. Petersburg Connection, a powerful energy lobby under the leadership of Putin.”

Igor Rotenberg

The son of billionaire Arkady Rotenberg, Forbes rate Mr Rotenberg’s wealth at $1.2 billion.

His father’s net worth is estimated to be $4.7 billion.

Mr Rotenberg is the chairman of the board of directors of National Telematic Systems.

He also controls drilling company Gazprom Bureniye.

“The Rotenbergs are closely associated with Vladimir Putin,” the UK Home Office said, explaining the rationale behind the sanctions.

All three men have already been sanctioned by the US; Mr Timchenko and Boris Rotenberg in 2014, and Igor Rotenberg in 2018.

The sanctions send a message to people close to Mr Putin, and those in the president’s inner-circle, that they could be next if Russia presses further in Ukraine.

But while not explicitly naming individuals, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said those sanctioned by Australia were the same men sanctioned by the US and the UK.

Source: 9News

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