Chelsea director among Abramovich associates sanctioned in UK's 'largest asset freeze'
The UK on Thursday announced sanctions on Roman Abramovich's associates
Eugene Tenenbaum, director of Chelsea and David Davidovich were sanctioned
$13 billion was frozen in the 'largest asset freeze' in UK history
The UK on Thursday announced that it had sanctioned two close associates of Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, the owner of Chelsea Football Club, freezing $13 billion in assets in what the Foreign Office described as the "the largest asset freeze action in UK history."
The two "key" oligarchs who have been sanctioned are Eugene Tenenbaum and David Davidovich.
Tenenbaum is one of Abramovich's closest associates, as well as a director of Chelsea, and was one of the top executives of Russian oil company Sibneft, which Abramovich sold in 2006.
The Foreign Office said that it had taken control of an Abramovich-linked investment firm, Ervington Investments Limited, which Tenenbaum had taken control of immediately after the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24.
Davidovich, who had earlier been described by Forbes as "Abramovich’s much lower profile right hand man," subsequently took control of Ervington in March 2022.
While Tenenbaum has been hit with an asset freeze, Davidovich has been slapped with a travel ban, as well as an asset freeze.
"This will prevent these assets from being repatriated to Russia and used to fund Putin’s war machine," the Foreign Office said in a statement.
UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, meanwhile, said, "We are tightening the ratchet on Putin’s war machine and targeting the circle of people closest to the Kremlin. We will keep going with sanctions until Putin fails in Ukraine. Nothing and no one is off the table."
The announcement brings the total number of "oligarchs, family members and associates" sanctioned since February to 106.
Meanwhile, since the beginning of the Russian invasion, around $359 billion - around 60% of Russian foreign currency reserves - have been frozen, contributing to Russia's biggest recession since the fall of the Soviet Union.