The US imposed sanctions on four Russian tycoons who helped found the Alfa Group banking conglomerate, finally joining UK and European allies that had restricted their assets soon after the Ukraine war began.
(Bloomberg) — The US imposed sanctions on four Russian tycoons who helped found the Alfa Group banking conglomerate, finally joining UK and European allies that had restricted their assets soon after the Ukraine war began.
The Treasury Department announced sanctions against Mikhail Fridman, Petr Aven, German Khan and Alexey Kuzmichev, partners in the group that controls Russia’s largest retailer and private bank.
“Wealthy Russian elites should disabuse themselves of the notion that they can operate business as usual while the Kremlin wages war against the Ukrainian people,” Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo said in a statement. “Our international coalition will continue to hold accountable those enabling the unjustified and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.”
The quartet had been sanctioned by the UK and the EU soon after Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine, and it had been an enduring mystery why the US — which has slapped sanctions on hundreds of people and entities over the war — had held off punishing them too.
Fridman has publicly condemned the war as a “tragedy,” saying “war can never be the answer,” but he stopped short of directly criticizing President Vladimir Putin. One of Russia’s most prominent businessmen, Fridman and his partners have gone to the EU’s top courts to fight their sanctions designations, saying there’s no evidence he’s a Putin ally or that he’s backed or benefitted from aggression in his native Ukraine.
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