Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is one of the billionaires to be affected by the latest sanctions. (file photo)
The United Kingdom says it has added several high-profile Russian billionaires to its sanctions list, including including Roman Abramovich, the billionaire owner of Premier League soccer club Chelsea, and industrialist Oleg Deripaska, who has called for an end to the war Moscow launched with Ukraine last month.
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The British government said in a statement on March 10 that the new list also includes Rosneft Chief Executive Officer Igor Sechin, VTB Bank Chairman Andrei Kostin, Gazprom chief Aleksei Miller, pipeline firm Transeft's owner, Nikolai Tokarev, and Bank Rossia Chairman Dmitry Lebedev.
The move, taken in response to Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, freezes the U.K. assets of those on the list and also imposes a travel ban on them, meaning they are banned from visiting the United Kingdom. and are also barred from transactions with U.K. individuals and businesses.
"Today’s sanctions are the latest step in the U.K.’s unwavering support for the Ukrainian people. We will be ruthless in pursuing those who enable the killing of civilians, destruction of hospitals and illegal occupation of sovereign allies," British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a statement announcing the additions to the sanctions list.
Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24. Since then, Many Western nations have imposed crippling sanctions on Moscow and many Russian officials and billionaires who are seen as having close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
On March 7, Deripaska said peace was needed "as soon as possible," adding "the whole world will be different after these events and Russia will be different."
Abramovich, 55, who has owned Chelsea since 2003, put the soccer club up for sale earlier this month and promised to donate money from the proceeds to help victims of the war in Ukraine.