- Britain imposed sanctions on ‘financial fixers’ for two prominent Russian businessmen.
- Two people from Cyprus, Demetris Ioannides and Christodoulos Vassiliades, were sanctioned.
- The sanctions are being imposed to further stymie Russia amid their war in Ukraine.
Britain targeted individuals and companies who it accused of acting as “financial fixers” for Russian businessmen Roman Abramovich and Alisher Usmanov in its latest round of sanctions against Moscow for the war in Ukraine.
Britain’s Foreign Office said in a statement on Wednesday the new measures were aimed at those helping the two prominent businessmen to avoid the full cost of financial sanctions.
“We are closing the net on the Russian elite and those who try to help them hide their money for war,” foreign minister James Cleverly said in the statement. “We will keep cutting them off from assets they thought were successfully hidden.”
The government said sanctions were imposed on Demetris Ioannides and Christodoulos Vassiliades, two Cypriots it described as “professional enablers” who had helped to create offshore structures and trusts.
Britain has frozen billions of pounds in assets and sanctioned over 1 550 Russian individuals and 180 entities over the past year to punish Moscow for the conflict in Europe and to stymie its ability to carry on.
The latest sanctions were also targeted at Usmanov’s financial network, including holding company USM, Curzon Square Ltd, which Britain said acted as his London office, and Hanley Ltd, according to the statement.
We consider the UK sanctions adopted against USM Holdings and its shareholders to be unjust and unfounded,” USM said in a statement, adding that it intended to challenge the restrictions as “unlawful”.
“Alisher Usmanov has not been engaged in business activity for a long period of time,” the statement added.
Britain, which froze the assets of Abramovich and Usmanov last year, said the measures ensure that assets linked to Usmanov – including the 90-million-pound Beechwood House mansion in London – remain sanctioned.