UK places largest asset freeze ever on Abramovich associates

Britain sanctioned Roman Abramovich’s two closest associates as a response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The men were subject to the biggest asset freeze the government has ever placed.

Eugene Tenenbaum, Chelsea Football Club director, and David Davidovich (another Abramovich business associate) were both targeted. Davidovich will also be subject to a travel ban. This means that he will not be allowed to enter or stay in Britain.

Abramovich was a billionaire businessman who transferred two companies he owned to Tenenbaum or Davidovich on September 11, according to Reuters.

According to the government, a freeze was placed on assets worth $10 billion linked to these two men. They were being sanctioned because of their close association with Abramovich, one of many wealthy Russians who were subject to British and European Union sanctions.

British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss stated that “we are increasing the pressure on (Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war machine and targeting those closest to the Kremlin.” “We will continue to apply sanctions until Putin is defeated in Ukraine. There is no one who is excluded from the discussion.

Abramovich previously denied any close ties with Putin.

Tenenbaum, a Chelsea director, was appointed to full control of Ervington Investments Limited on February 24, 2012. Ervington Investments Limited invested in at least eight companies, including Russia’s most popular search engine Yandex.

Abramovich has used Ervington as an investment vehicle for at least eight years. It was one of the investors who invested $600 million in Yandex in 2020 and also contributed money to Via, a ride-sharing platform.

Tenenbaum told Reuters last month that his company had bought Ervington Investments to comply with all laws and regulations. This was because Ervington Investments is a company he’s worked with for many decades. Davidovich was given the firm last month.

Tenenbaum, who is 57 years old, was born in Ukraine during the Soviet Union. He has been a member of Chelsea’s board since 1999. He was the former head of corporate finance at Sibneft (a Russian oil company that was sold to Abramovich in 2006).

Davidovich did not respond immediately to a request for comments. Reuters could not reach Davidovich immediately to provide a comment.

Tenenbaum said last month to Reuters that he disagreed with how Abramovich was publicly portrayed and hoped that the sanctions imposed upon him would be reassessed.

When sanctioning Abramovich, the British government stated that he was a close ally of Putin for many decades.

Abramovich also relocated another company, Norma Investments to Davidovich, on the first day after Russia’s attack on Ukraine.

According to corporate filings, Norma held stakes in biotech and renewable-fuel companies.

After the invasion of Ukraine by the United States in February, Britain took longer than the EU and the United States to impose sanctions against Russia. However, this has changed over the past few weeks.

On Thursday, the Royal Court of Jersey placed a formal freeze on assets worth $7 billion that was linked to Abramovich.

Abramovich, who had tried to sell Chelsea, the Premier League soccer team, before he was sanctioned was stopped by the British government. His finances were blacklisted.

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