UK: Can sanctions against oligarchs work?

For Russian oligarchs interested in the UK, the consequences of UK sanctions are dire. Anna Bradshaw, Partner at Peters & Peters Solicitors LLP, said, “These elites will no longer be able to act with an economic purpose in the country. It is very difficult for them to directly or indirectly initiate or pursue business relationships through a structure that they have more than 50% or that which is under their control. »

Not only business is affected by these restrictions. For example, they prevent concerned Russians from paying the tuition fees of British private schools that welcome their children. According to the Independent School Council, a representative of British private schools, there are more than 2,300 Russian students educated in the country, of whom 1,300 have parents abroad.

The means to avoid these restrictions are very limited, other than to move one’s property outside of this jurisdiction or diversify before being subject to these restrictions, so the country’s elites are very quickly on the restrictions, according to some British lawmakers. Need to keep list. That is why Labor MP Chris Bryant questioned Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich’s decision to hand over the management of the football club to shareholders.

“Due diligence”. Another way to circumvent its restrictions is by resorting to opaque structures by oligarchs to hide ownership of goods or companies. “But today, organizations are being asked to do due diligence, that is, very strict scrutiny,” the lawyer adds. The United Kingdom and the European Union are more flexible than the United States in this matter, in so far as a company can be forgiven if it proves it did not know it was dealing with frozen assets. But today there are commercial data providers and it is very difficult to prove that no one knew. ,

There are also various licensing systems in place in the UK, which enable one to carry on business with approved bodies or individuals in one way or another. But according to Anna Bradshaw, the process is very limited and it is so long and complicated that it does not allow bypassing restrictions.

On the other hand, the consequences of Vladimir Putin’s own policy are uncertain. “Many Russian oligarchs are close to Putin, and some of them probably help him hide their funds in offshore accounts, identifies Angus Roxburgh, a former Kremlin adviser and BBC reporter in Moscow, in a Guardian column. Putin uses them as those They do it to finance projects they need urgently – infrastructure for the Sochi Olympics, a bridge to annex Crimea. But it’s a one-sided relationship. The former journalist believes Vladimir Putin will enrich them Let it happen, provided he can raise money when needed and stays out of politics. His influence in decisions taken in the Kremlin would, according to him, be pure fiction.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *