Russian oligarch owner of Highgate mansion sanctioned after Ukraine invasion
- Credit: Google/PA
The Russian billionaire owner of a mansion next to Hampstead Heath and former Arsenal stakeholder has been sanctioned by the UK government.
Travel bans and full asset freezes were imposed on Alisher Usmanov on Thursday (March 3), along with former Russian deputy prime minister Igor Shuvalov.
The move comes as Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine, with forces attacking the country on multiple fronts and civilian casualty numbers from shelling mounting.
Under the sanctions no British citizen or business can deal with the pair, and the government has plans to launch an "Oligarch taskforce" to carry out further action.
Mr Usmanov owns the £48 million Beechwood House in Hampstead Lane Highgate and the 16th century Sutton Place estate in Surrey. Everton - the football club he has most recently had interests with - had already suspended commercial links with him and he sold his stake in Arsenal in 2018.
He is founder of USM Holdings which works in sectors including extractives and telecoms, and the government estimates his net worth at $18.4 billion.
The European Union had already frozen Mr Usmanov's assets under its jurisdiction.
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Foreign secretary Liz Truss said: "Our message to Putin and his allies has been clear from day one – invading Ukraine would have serious and crippling economic consequences.
"Sanctioning Usmanov and Shuvalov sends a clear message that we will hit oligarchs and individuals closely associated with the Putin regime and his barbarous war. We won’t stop here.
"Our aim is to cripple the Russian economy and starve Putin’s war machine."
Boris Johnson said: “For as long as Putin continues his barbaric attack on innocent Ukrainians we will continue to exert every power we have to inflict maximum economic pain on Putin and his war machine.”
Roman Abramovich, who says he will sell Chelsea FC, was not among the latest tranche of sanctioned oligarchs.
On Wednesday, Labour leader and Holborn and St Pancras MP Sir Keir Starmer questioned why Mr Shuvalov, who served under Mr Putin as his deputy prime minister, had not been sanctioned. Mr Shuvalov owns property in Westminster and is the chair of the management board of VEB, one of the sanctioned Russian banks.
Both Mr Usmanov and Mr Shuvalov are part of the Russian president’s inner circle, according to the Foreign Office.