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UK targets more oligarchs and Putin allies with sanctions

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UK targets more oligarchs and Putin allies with sanctions

LONDON – The British government said on Tuesday that it has imposed sanctions on more than 370 individuals described as oligarchs, political allies or campaigners for Russian President Vladimir V. Putin, in a major new action that sees it as a member of the European Union. brings closer. On an issue that has plagued Britain for a long time.

The sanctions announced by the foreign secretary, Liz Truss, include a travel ban and will freeze the assets of key Russians in business and government, including some of the Kremlin’s wealthiest elite and most senior officials.

Among those on the latest list: Former Russian President Dmitry A. Medvedev; Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin; Kremlin press secretary Dmitry S. Peskov; Maria Zakharova, spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia; Sergei Shoigu, Minister of Defense; and Mikhail Fridman, the billionaire founder of Alfa Bank, one of Russia’s largest private banks.

“We are moving faster than ever to kill those closest to Putin – from prominent oligarchs to his prime minister and the campaigners who spread his lies and propaganda,” Ms Truss said in a statement. “We are holding them accountable for their complicity in Russia’s crimes in Ukraine.”

Last week Britain imposed sanctions on Roman Abramovich, the billionaire owner of Chelsea soccer club in London. But the government has faced criticism for moving slowly against other wealthy Russians, many of whom own property in London or have incorporated themselves into British politics and society.

The oligarchs targeted as of Tuesday have an estimated net worth of more than $130 billion. Some, like Mr. Friedman, own a colonial residence in London. On Monday, eight protesters were arrested after occupying the balcony of a London mansion belonging to another aristocrat, Oleg Deripaska, who has been the target of sanctions with Mr Abramovich last week.

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The latest batch of sanctions were imposed under a new Economic Offenses Act, introduced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government in an effort to try to stem the flow of corrupt money from oligarchs and other wealthy foreigners into Britain. The act enables the UK to automatically impose penalties on those who are under EU sanctions.

The government said it had developed its own sanctions cases against four major oligarchs: Mr. Friedmann and two of his accomplices, Petr Aven and German Khan; as well as a member of the Russian parliament, Oleg Matveychev, whom British officials describe as a campaigner for Mr. Putin.

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