Entertainment

Roman Abramovich’s business associates cop $17.7 billion in sanctions, frozen assets, Chelsea boss, for sale


Two longstanding business associates of billionaire Russian oligarch and Chelsea boss Roman Abramovich have been hit hard.

The UK on Thursday announced it was freezing assets worth around £10 billion ($A17.7 billion) of two more Russian oligarchs, both longstanding business associates of Chelsea Football club owner Roman Abramovich.

The sanctions against Eugene Tenenbaum, a director of Chelsea, and David Davidovich bring the total number of oligarchs, family members and associates sanctioned by London to 106 since Russia invaded Ukraine in February.

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London said the asset freeze — the largest in UK history — would cut key revenue sources for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “war machine”.

“We are tightening the ratchet on Putin’s war machine and targeting the circle of people closest to the Kremlin,” Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said.

“We will keep going with sanctions until Putin fails in Ukraine. Nothing and no one is off the table.”

A travel ban has also been placed on Davidovich, who is described by Forbes as “Abramovich’s much lower profile right hand man”.

Tenenbaum is one of Abramovich’s closest business associates, and took control of an Abramovich-linked investment company immediately following Russia’s invasion.

The British Crown dependency of Jersey said Wednesday it has frozen more than 6.4 billion euros ($A9.3b) in assets believed to be linked to Abramovich.

Britain last month slapped sanctions on the tycoon for his close links to Putin. The billionaire has already been forced to put Chelsea Football Club — which he bought in 2003 — up for sale.

Abramovich was also among the individuals listed under new sanctions adopted by the European Union in March.

The 55-year-old owner of English Premier League giant Chelsea has been starved of roubles after his assets were frozen around the world.

Now he has reportedly asked VIP friends for loans of $US1 million each to help him pay his staff, The Sun reports.

Rush Hour director Brett Ratner is among those Abramovich has asked, according to reports in the US.

It is claimed he has gone to contacts in Hollywood and Wall Street — and to tech tycoons.

Abramovich is also said to have approached the wealthy Rothschild family after his assets in the UK and the US were seized.

No one is thought to have agreed to give him the money.



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