Roman Abramovich sanctioned for 15 billion pounds sterling against seven Russian oligarchs

Nadine Dorries, the culture secretary, said Chelsea will still be able to play games and pay staff.

“Our priority is to hold accountable those who enabled Putin’s regime. Today’s sanctions obviously have a direct impact on Chelsea and their supporters. We have worked hard to ensure that the club and domestic football not be unnecessarily harmed by these significant penalties,” she said.

“I know it brings some uncertainty, but the government will work with the league and the clubs to keep playing football while ensuring that the penalties hit those who are intended. Football clubs are cultural assets and the foundation of our communities. We are committed to protecting them.”

Mr Abramovich has only been to Stamford Bridge once – in November last year – since he withdrew a UK visa application in 2018, so the travel ban does not cause him not many headaches.

As well as Chelsea, he has stakes in steel giant Evraz and Norilsk Nickel. He sold a 73% stake in Russian oil company Sibneft to gas titan Gazprom for £9.87billion in 2005. His net worth is estimated at £9.4billion.

Jets and yachts owned or chartered by Mr. Abramovich may be seized, depending on the penalties.

“The blood of the Ukrainian people is on their hands”

The seven people sanctioned have a combined net worth of more than £15billion, the government said in a press release announcing the decision.

The government statement goes on to say that Mr Abramovich has had a “decades-long close relationship” with the Russian president.

“This association has included obtaining financial or other material benefit from Putin and the Russian government,” he says.

Liz Truss, the Foreign Secretary, said: “Today’s sanctions show once again that oligarchs and kleptocrats have no place in our economy or our society. With their close ties to Putin, they are complicit in his aggression.

“The blood of the Ukrainian people is on their hands. They should bow their heads in shame.

“Our support for Ukraine will not waver. We will not stop in this mission to increase the pressure on Putin’s regime and choke off the funds of his brutal war machine.”

Chancellor Rishi Sunak simply tweeted “Sanctioned” and a link to the press release.

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