According to a letter published in the EU’s official journal on Friday, the head of Russia’s biggest lender Sberbank, Vladimir Putin’s two daughters, and other oligarchs have agreed to freeze their assets in the EU.
The EU has blacklisted roughly 700 people linked to the Kremlin or accused of backing the invasion, which Moscow refers to as a “special operation,” since the start of the war in Ukraine. However, due to legal obstacles, this has not always resulted in a speedy freeze of assets.
Over 200 more people will be targeted by the new measures, largely from the separatist republics of Luhansk and Donetsk, as well as senior businessmen, politicians, and military personnel close to the Kremlin.
Asset freezes have been imposed on another 18 entities, including four banks, including VTB (VTBR.MM), and military firms, nearly doubling the number of corporations affected by sanctions since the war began.
According to the document, Herman Gref, the CEO of Sberbank (SBER.MM), has been added to the EU blacklist, which is a symbolic gesture. So far, the EU has refrained from imposing sanctions on the bank, which is crucial to energy payments.
Ekaterina Tikhonova and Maria Vorontsova, Putin’s children, have also been sanctioned for receiving benefits from the Russian government, according to the document.
Putin had previously been sanctioned in an earlier wave of sanctions, however, it’s unknown how many assets he and his family have in the EU if any.
Wealthy oligarchs frequently employ front men, anonymous shell companies, and trusts to hide their assets, making it difficult, if not impossible, for investigators to track them down, particularly in jurisdictions with permissive regulations on who is the beneficial owner of a company.
Vladimir Bogdanov, the CEO of Surgutneftegas (SNGS.MM), Oleg Deripaska, the founder of aluminum giant Rusal, Boris Rotenberg, Said Kerimov, a major shareholder in Russia’s top gold miner Polyus (PLZL.MM), and Alexander Shulgin, the CEO of Russian e-commerce platform Ozon (OZON.O), have all been sanctioned.