U.S. Sanctions Target Putin Allies’ Companies, Rosneft’s Sechin
The following is a list of those targeted.
Sechin, 53, has worked with Putin for more than two decades, starting the St. Petersburg mayor’s office in the 1990s. He was appointed chief executive of OAO Rosneft (ROSN) in 2012, having served as board chairman since 2004. Sechin oversaw the company’s growth over the past 10 years into the world’s biggest publicly traded oil producer by output, largely through acquiring Yukos Oil Co.’s assets and TNK-BP.
Chemezov, 61, heads Rostec, the state corporation that owns arms exporter Rosoboronexport and holds stakes in more than 660 other civilian and military-industrial manufacturers. He is chairman at titanium producer OAO VSMPO-Avisma and OAO Uralkali, the world’s largest potash producer, and is on the boards of automaker OAO AvtoVAZ, controlled by Renault SA-Nissan, and OAO Kamaz, part-owned by Daimler AG.
Chemezov has known Putin since the 1980s, when the Russian leader served as a KGB officer in Dresden, then East Germany.
Kozak, 55, a deputy prime minister, was in charge of Russia’s preparations for the Sochi Winter Olympics and is now overseeing the development of Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula that Russia annexed from Ukraine.
Volodin, 50, has served as the first deputy chief of the presidential staff under both Putin and now Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, replacing Kremlin ideologue Vladislav Surkov in 2011.
Pushkov, 59, heads the foreign affairs committees of Russia’s lower house of parliament and supported the annexation of Crimea.
Murov, 68, is the director of Russia’s Federal Guard Service, or FSO, and a general.
Belavantsev, 64, is Russia’s presidential envoy to Crimea.
Billionaire Gennady Timchenko’s investment group was included as well as 10 transportation, infrastructure, construction and consumer goods companies in which it holds stakes. It also owns 23 percent of OAO Novatek (NVTK), Russia’s second-largest natural gas producer and 32 percent of OAO Sibur Holding, the country’s biggest petrochemicals maker, which aren’t blacklisted.
Anton Kurevin, a spokesman for Volga Group, said the sanctions are “politically motivated” as the companies have no involvement in the events in Ukraine.
Stroytransgaz Group, targeted by the U.S. along with four of its units, plans to help build the Bulgarian and Serbian sections of OAO Gazprom (OGZD)’s South Stream gas pipeline project to Europe, according to the Interfax news service.
Other companies controlled by Timchenko on today’s sanctions list are Transoil LLC, a rail freight operator specializing in oil and oil products; water and soft drink producer Aquanika LLC; airport ground services companies Avia Group LLC and Avia Group Nord LLC; and Sakhtrans LLC, which is involved in construction of a Far East port.
*SMP Bank and InvestCapitalBank
The two lenders are controlled by billionaire brothers Arkady and Boris Rotenberg, who were blacklisted by the U.S. last month. SMP, which has about 100 branches in 20 Russian cities, said in a statement today that it had already taken measures to minimize losses from U.S. sanctions.
A gas-pipeline builder controlled by Arkady Rotenberg, one of Gazprom’s largest Russian contractors with 325 billion rubles ($9 billion) of revenue in 2012. Its business won’t be affected as Stroygazmontazh doesn’t have operations in the U.S. or American partners, spokesman Andrei Baturin said today by phone.
Sobinbank, a Moscow-based lender controlled by OAO Bank Rossiya, was added after the parent company was sanctioned last month. Sobinbank said it had been operating “under the influence of U.S. sanctions” for more than a month since Bank Rossiya was designated on March 21, according to an e-mailed statement from spokeswoman Olga Grishaeva. Bank Rossiya’s biggest owner is Putin ally Yury Kovalchuk, while Timchenko’s Volga Group has an stake of about 8 percent.
*ZAO Zest; Abros LLC
Zest, a leasing company, and Abros are also controlled by Bank Rossiya.