The United Kingdom has expanded its sanctions against Russia, targeting 29 individuals and entities associated with the country’s gold, oil, and strategic sectors. These sanctions are part of a broader international effort to curb the Kremlin’s revenue sources that support its illegal invasion of Ukraine.
Hitting Russia’s Gold and Oil Markets
The newly sanctioned individuals and entities span Russian oligarchs, businesses, and third-country enablers contributing to Russia’s war revenues. Russia’s gold and oil markets, tightly connected to the Kremlin, play a crucial role in financing its invasion of Ukraine. Gold, in particular, serves as a significant income stream, generating £12.6 billion for the Russian economy in 2021, making it one of the highest-value revenue streams after oil and gas.
Choking Off Revenue Streams
In response to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the UK, alongside its international partners, has introduced a series of measures to choke off these revenue streams. One such measure is the Oil Price Cap, which has already led to a 25% reduction in Russian oil revenues between January and September 2023, compared to the same period in 2022. However, Russia has consistently attempted to circumvent these measures by enlisting support from actors in other jurisdictions.
New Sanctions to Counter Circumvention
Today’s sanctions aim to block individuals and entities from aiding Russia in evading international sanctions. Among those newly sanctioned is a United Arab Emirates-based network responsible for channeling over $300 million in gold revenues to Russia. This network includes the gold trader Paloma Precious DMCC and its key individual, Howard Jon Baker.
Targets of Sanctions
The UK has also sanctioned two of Russia’s largest gold producers, Nord Gold PLC and Highland Gold Mining Limited, alongside Russian oligarchs Vladislav Sviblov and Konstantin Strukov.
National Crime Agency’s Red Alert
Concurrently with the sanctions, the National Crime Agency has issued a Red Alert to raise awareness of common evasion techniques used by enablers in the gold industry. This alert aims to combat sanctions circumvention by encouraging businesses to report suspicious activity and providing guidance on how to do so.
Foreign Secretary’s Statement
Foreign Secretary James Cleverly commented on the sanctions, stating,
“Sanctions continue to deal a heavy blow to the Kremlin’s war economy, to date depriving Putin of over $400 billion to fund his illegal invasion of Ukraine. But we must keep tightening the screws on Moscow.”
“Today’s sanctions will hit those who have provided succor to Putin by helping him to lessen the impact of our sanctions on Russian gold and oil – two critical sources of revenue for the Russian war machine. As we root out and close down these circumvention avenues, we’ll continue to box Putin in and make sure his faltering war effort in Ukraine ends in failure.”
In addition to the measures against the gold and oil sectors, the UK has also sanctioned Paramount Energy & Commodities DMCC. This company is known for employing deceptive shipping practices and opaque ownership structures, which Russia has used to mitigate the impact of oil-related sanctions imposed by the UK in coordination with G7 partners.
Disrupting Covert Procurement Network
Furthermore, the UK has acted to disrupt a covert procurement network used by Russia to acquire critical Western technology. OOO TK Fly Bridge, a company procuring dual-use goods for Russian electronics producers NPP Istok and Ecitech, has been sanctioned. Additionally, Maksim Ermakov, founder of OOO TK Fly Bridge, and eight of NPP Istok’s board members have also been targeted.
A Broad Sanctions Regime
The UK has already sanctioned over 1,800 individuals, companies, and groups under its Russia sanctions regime, including 129 oligarchs with a combined net worth of £145 billion at the time of the invasion.
List of Sanctioned Individuals and Entities
The full list of individuals and organizations sanctioned by the UK today includes:
- JSC Krastsvetmet
- Paloma Precious DMCC
- Howard Jon Baker
- Marina Aleksandrovna MORDASHOVA
- Nord Gold PLC
- Georgy Valeryevich SMIRNOV
- Konstantin Ivanovich STRUKOV
- Vladislav Vladimirovich SVIBLOV
- Highland Gold Mining Limited
- Ural Mining and Metallurgical Company
- PARAMOUNT ENERGY & COMMODITIES DMCC
- Francois Edouard MAURON
- Russian National Reinsurance Company
- Sergei Vadimovich TREGUB
- Vadym Oleksandrovich TREGUB
- Krešimir FILIPOVIĆ
- Walter MORETTI
- Limited Liability Company Technological Company Fly Bridge
- Maksim Yuryevich ERMAKOV
- Evgenii Vasilyevich ISTOMIN
- Mariya Vladimirovna CHEKADANOVA
- Vadim Sergeevich DOBROV
- Aleksandr Sergeevich KOTOV
- Leonid Viktorovich LAVRENTYEV
- Natalya Aleksandovna RUBTSOVA
- Sergei Vladilenovich SHCHERBAKOV
- Aleksandr Aleksandrovich VYALOV
- Yury Anatolyevich CHIKHANCHIN
- The Russian Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP)
These sanctions represent a significant step in the ongoing international effort to isolate Russia’s war economy and bring an end to the conflict in Ukraine.