Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich has been added to the UK sanctions list, the government has announced.
Earlier this month, the 55-year-old billionaire announced he would be selling Chelsea FC, following public pressure after Russia invaded Ukraine.
The government said he now faces a prohibition on transactions with UK individuals and businesses, a travel ban and transport sanctions.
Abramovich’s one time business partner Oleg Deripaska, who has has stakes in En+ Group, has also been added to the sanctions list, along with Chairman of VTB bank Andrey Kostin, CEO of energy company Gazprom Alexei Miller, president of the Russia state-owned pipeline company Transneft Nikolai Tokarev and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Bank Rossiya Dmitri Lebedev.
A government press release said: "As part of the UK’s leading efforts to isolate Putin and those around him, these oligarchs – who have a collective net worth of around £15bn – will have their assets in the UK frozen, they are banned from travelling here and no UK citizen or company may do business with them."
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "There can be no safe havens for those who have supported Putin’s vicious assault on Ukraine.
"Today’s sanctions are the latest step in the UK’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."
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss also weighed in, saying: "Today’s sanctions show once again that oligarchs and kleptocrats have no place in our economy or society. With their close links to Putin they are complicit in his aggression.
"The blood of the Ukrainian people is on their hands. They should hang their heads in shame.
"Our support for Ukraine will not waver. We will not stop in this mission to ramp up the pressure on the Putin regime and choke off funds to his brutal war machine."
According to Steven Swinford, political editor of The Times, Chelsea has been given a 'special licence to continue with football related activities but the sale effectively bars the sale of the club'.
"Sanctioning Chelsea Football Club effectively places it in limbo," Swinford tweeted.
"A special licence from the Treasury means that 'football-related activities' such as tonights game against Norwich can go ahead. But Abramovich cannot sell the club.
"The Government would need to give special dispensation for the sale of Chelsea, and no money could go to Abramovich either directly or indirectly."
Swinford added that it was likely to be a 'protracted' process.
The government said the sanctions are the latest step in the UK's response to 'Putin’s illegal and unprovoked invasion, designed to ensure he fails in Ukraine by crippling Russia’s economy supporting his war machine'.
The UK has already sanctioned more than 200 of Russia’s 'most significant and high-value individuals, entities and subsidiaries' since the invasion, with more than 500 of them now covered by the sanctions list.
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