Replicas of WWII gun barrels stand on the Red Square for a military parade in Moscow on November 2, 2018.
MLADEN ANTONOV | AFP | Getty Images
WASHINGTON — The Biden administration imposed fresh sanctions on Wednesday aimed at the financial network linked to Russian billionaire and business tycoon Alisher Usmanov, as part of a larger effort to crack down on sanctions evasion.
Usmanov, one of Russia’s wealthiest billionaires with direct links to Russian President Vladimir Putin, was sanctioned in March 2022 in the weeks after Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
“As the Kremlin seeks ways around the expansive multilateral sanctions and export controls imposed on Russia for its war against Ukraine, the United States and our allies and partners will continue to disrupt evasion schemes that support Putin on the battlefield,” said Brian Nelson, undersecretary of the Treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence.
“Today’s action underscores our dedication to implementing the G7 commitment to impose severe costs on third-country actors who support Russia’s war,” he added.
The Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control announced it would sanction 25 individuals and 29 entities across 20 jurisdictions for working with Usmanov. In a joint effort, the State Department also sanctioned several entities for supporting the Ukrainian invasion, including two that were responsible for militarizing and indoctrinating Ukrainian children.
“The United States will continue to take action against Russia and those supporting its war in Ukraine, including further implementing the G7’s commitment to impose severe consequences on third country actors who support Russia’s war in Ukraine,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.
The sanctions correspond with the addition of 28 entities to a list of threats to US national security maintained by the Commerce Department. The entities, located in Armenia, China, Malta, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Syria, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Uzbekistan, supported Russia’s defense system, coordinated the transfer of goods from Iran to Russia, and procured items for Russian entities, according to an announcement.
“The United States is acting with speed and coordination in response to Putin’s egregious violation of international law,” Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves said in a statement. “The Biden-Harris Administration, along with our partners and allies, will continue to degrade Russia’s military and industrial defense base through the use of export controls.”
Entities sanctioned include:
- Cyprus national Demetrios Serghides, an advisor to Usmanov, and the “Sister Trust”
- Usmanov’s network in Cyprus
- Executives linked to Usmanov
- Members of the billionaire Skoch family
- Usmanov’s stepson, Natan Adadievich Viner
- Sequoia Treuhand Trust, a Russian-linked trust services company
- Several suppliers aiding in sanctions evasion and procurement of goods for Russia
- A Hungary-based, Russian-controlled financial institution called International Investment Bank
Last year, German authorities seized the world’s largest superyacht following official confirmation that the vessel had links to Usmanov.
The yacht, named Dilbar after Usmanov’s mother, extends over 500 feet and is equipped with two helipads and the largest indoor swimming pool ever installed on a private vessel. The Treasury Department estimates the current value of Usmanov’s yacht is approximately $735 million.
Read more: World’s largest yacht, linked to Russian billionaire Usmanov, is seized by Germany
Usmanov and his superyacht entered the crosshairs of the US and its allies following coordinated global sanctions on Russian elites with Kremlin ties.
Southampton, England, UK, Super yacht Dilbar 15,917 tones, owned by Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov departing the Port of Southampton.
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A $90 million mega-yacht owned by billionaire Viktor Vekselberg was seized in Spain last April with help from US authorities. Vekselberg was born in Ukraine, but founded the massive Russia-based conglomerate Renova Group.
Last March, French authorities seized a massive yacht they say is linked to Igor Sechin, a Russian billionaire who is CEO of state oil company Rosneft. He previously served as Russia’s deputy prime minister within Putin’s government.
The Lady M, known to be the property of Russian billionaire Alexei Mordashov, was previously seized in Italy.
Correction: This story was updated to reflect that some of the sanctions relate to alleged efforts to indoctrinate Ukrainian children.